Monday, August 9, 2010

Words, Words, Words

Ever have trouble finding just the right word to use? Well, maybe that word is out there, but not enough people are using it, so it hasn't made it into the dictionary.

For example, you may get museum head after wurfing, and find yourself having to precuperate. No idea what I'm talking about? That's okay. That first sentence is filled with non-words (i.e., words that were submitted to the Oxford English Dictionary, but didn't make the cut because they weren't used widely enough.)

"Museum head" means feeling mentally exhausted and no longer able to take in information -- as in how one feels after a day at the museum. "Wurfing" means surfing the Internet while at work, and "precuperate" means to prepare for the possibility of being sick.

A recent graphic design graduate decided to turn some of these "lost words" into art as a project over the summer. Check out this article about his project and some other non-words: Unused but Useful: Oxford English Dictionary's Reject List

So, maybe we can help give life to some of those non-words. Pick out a favorite and use it every day for a week. Or, maybe, we can come up with our own non-words and see if they can make it into the dictionary. How about "schlurging?" It's the act of buying school supplies that you don't need like a twelve pack of various colored highlighters when just a set of yellow highlighters will do.

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