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Re: New Words

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Friday, October 31, 2003, 16:11
Quoting JS Bangs <jaspax@...>:

> Abrigon Gusiq sikyal: > > > Saying words to impress or to set one self off from others.. Snooty if > > you like.. > > This doesn't work with truly new words. Only existing words that have high > prestige.
That's not entirely true. Having done some ethically questionable experimentation, I know first-hand that, given the right situation and audience, you can invent a word on the spot and have people impressed by your advanced vocabulary. The trick, usually, is to invent something that sounds like a Latin/Greekly derived item of scientific/technical terminology. Simply patching such terms together from known morphemes is even more likely to work, but you run the risk of "coining" a word that actually already exists. That's happened to me a few times - mostly, the existing word even had the intended meaning! Now, it must be highly unlikely for a word so arosen to become established as the normal term for anything, but given the numbers of overeducated geeks milling around in the modern world, it wouldn't surprise me at all if it's happened a few times. Andreas PS What's even easier, and even less ethical, is conjuring up something out of the blue and claim it's the Classical Khmer, or whatever, term for something. With the right (wrong) sort of people, this too can impress, but here the chance that the world catches on must presumably be neglible.