this is not a word

August 27th, 2008

The Boston Globe has a great editorial for wordies in defense of English as user-modifiable technology.

Part of the joy and pleasure of English is its boundless creativity: I can describe a new machine as bicyclish, I can say that I’m vitamining myself to stave off a cold, I can complain that someone is the smilingest person I’ve ever seen, and I can decide, out of the blue, that fetch is now the word I want to use to mean “cool.” By the same token, readers and listeners can decide to adopt or ignore any of these uses or forms.

So, please, leave off the “not a real word” apologia. A far better (and dare I say, funner) technique is to jump in with both feet and use whatever word strikes your fancy.