What makes a word?
A combination of letters? Yes.
A defined meaning? Yes.
Being in the dictionary? Um … not necessarily.
At some point, every word had to be made up by someone. Shakespeare made up words, so did Lewis Carroll, G.K. Chesterton, Dr. Seuss, and many others. Language is a living, growing organic thing, It mutates and evolves over time as it’s spoken. Dictionaries only report what’s already there (and sometimes they propagandize what someone thinks should be there, but that’s another post).
So why not make up a word? My daughter does it all the time, and if creativity is the essence of play—and I believe it is—why shouldn’t I make up words too?
I did. Last night Without even trying.
Spinderrific: adj. Something so good it makes you want to spin in a circle as fast as you can. A combination of terrific and spin, with a “d” thrown in because it sounded right.
Now I invite you to create your own word and leave it in the comments.
Thanks to Jimmy Edgeworth for inspiring my new word (and this post) at last night’s Mid-Valley Willamette Writers Meeting.