I cannot tell you how many people I have seen in an absolute uproar about the new Palinism of the year, the official word refudiate. Are there not other, much more pressing issues in our time to waste our energies on than seeing the nature of language in action before our eyes? Are the riots and rallies in Egypt so trivial that they can wait until after a forty minute discussion on Palin’s right to coin a phrase? Where did the term free speech go to during all of this? The reaction by people is as if words aren’t allowed to be invented anymore. Many people seem to have looked over the fact that one of the top 20 words included nom nom– an expression of delight when eating, and gleek– a fan of the television series Glee. Now tell me, which of these three words is the silliest to you?
And what about all of the awesome forgotten words we leave behind every day? A wonderful organization calls Save the Words gives us looks at words almost “extinct” from the English language that we could still be using. A couple of my favorites are lardlet, a piece of bacon used to accent meat, and jussulent, full of broth or soup. These and many more words leave our vocabulary due to lack of use every day. But all things must pass, evolve, and be replaced. I am sure sometime in our history we had a word which meant to reject by denial, but at this point in our history we only have refute and repudiate. So why not? What’s so wrong with putting two together and creating something new and better? Who cares if it was Palin? I’m sure there are words in our own vocabulary which somewhere have a dictionary definition (can anyone say poo?) that was created by a baby! I could create a word right now and if people used it, found it useful or even just catchy, it might be the 2011 Word of the Year. So stop wasting time complaining about Palin’s latest escapade and start saving the good old fun words that are disappearing as I type. Follow the link to Save the Words!