Personally, I would like there to be multiple words for the idea of "love." I think there should be different words each for familial love, friend love, and romantic love. And maybe another separate word for a love for things or loving to do something. As it is, I constantly declare that I "love" the cat down the street that I've seen twice, the computer lab on campus, my professors, the manager of my complex, reading classics, and my roommates. What do all these things have in common? ...Well, nothing, really. I don't love my professors in the same way as I love the cat down the street. In fact, I feel totally differently toward each of them. So why must I use the same word for a different feeling?
|Photo by Mauro Cateb|
Unfortunately, this valiant endeavor was rewarded with very little attention. Out of the 100 words that Burgess proposed, only one of them survived and is actually used: blurb. (However, it's not used exactly the way Burgess originally intended. The original definition: "Praise from oneself, inspired laudation.")
Some of Burgess' words seem like they would actually be pretty useful. (Find the full text of his book here.) For example:
Gixlet: One who has more heart than brains, an entertainer.
...I know several gixlets. Maybe it's a good thing it's not a real word...
Or how about this one?
Oofle: a person whose name one cannot remember; to forget.
I confess, there was an oofle in my class today. I really shouldn't have oofled, since he's been in my class for two weeks already. I was pretty sure his name was Tony... I kept hoping the teacher would call on him or something. Finally I asked him. It was Tim, not Tony. But I'll still probably call him Tony next week.
Here's one of my favorites:
Wumgush: women's insincere flattery of each other.
Wumgush is everywhere. It can't be escaped.
Here's another winner:
Tashivation: the art of answering without listening to questions.
I tashivate in French class. All the time. But I'm not very good at it. My main answer is "oui"...which, needless to say, does not always work.
But my all-time favorite is this one:
Tintiddle: an imaginary conversation; wit coming too late.
Yep. We would ALL use that word, wouldn't we? Tintiddle happens to me all the time!
See any words you like? Start using them! And don't worry about looking like a doofus. After all, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Language change can start with you. Just a few minutes of looking like a doofus a day might save millions, one day, from having to use multiple words, instead of just one, to describe their tintiddle.