Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"Grammarphile" is a cool made-up word. But not all made-up words are cool...


Okay, I have a confession to make: sometimes I make up words. That's right. Sometimes I use words that aren't really words. I maintain that I'm allowed to do this since I was an English major, and I suffered through writing a 44-page English thesis and a creative writing thesis (one longish short story, ten poems)...okay, maybe suffered is the wrong word (I actually had fun writing them...yes, yes, I know, I'm a nerd), but you know what I mean. It was a lot of fucking effort, and with that effort we English major nerd-types (and other similarly creative people with a decent sense of grammar) get certain rights and privileges, one of which is inventing fun and catchy words.

I have two favorite made-up words:

1. Sephora-ing. I love Sephora-ing. After 20 minutes of Sephora-ing, I usually emerge from Sephora looking like my hands have just been attacked by Picasso. There's red, glittery Urban Decay lip gloss on this wrist, and strokes of gray eyeshadow on the top of my hand, and some kind of sparkly lotion on the other hand, a bit of the new Escada fragrance on that wrist, a tiny dot of some brightly-colored nail polish on the top of my hand, etc... I try, like, every interesting makeup or fragrance product on my hands while Sephora-ing. It's fun. I'm like a kid in a candy store. Only this is like very expensive candy, and you're not supposed to eat it.

2. Grammarphile. A lover of all things grammar-related. Very fitting.

However. Not everybody has earned the right to make up words. Not everyone should try to make a cute-sounding verb out of a noun (ie Sephora-ing). Good writers (particularly hardworking, creative English majors!) can, and should, make up cool words. Idiots should not make up words. It's as simple as that.

As for the "Rosemaried" above, I have two theories:

1. The idiot who wrote it made a typo.

2. The idiot who wrote it was inexplicably trying to create a fun little verb out of a noun, and this silly idea fell flat on its face. I mean, Rosemaried looks like a verb, yet if you treat the word as a verb, the sentence makes no sense--I mean, where's the noun? Oh, that's right--it's disguised as a fucking verb.

Idiots should spend more time proofreading their damn work and less time trying to make up words. Leave that to the Grammarphiles and other smart, creative folks, mmkay?

Big thanks to BRETT for spotting this mistake! By the way, Brett's website, Brett & His Typewriter, is fucking awesome--funny as hell, and he always uses excellent grammar in his posts. You absolutely must check it out!

6 comments:

mermaidswheel said...

Hey, Prof. Nichols told us we were allowed to make up words... hence my "Disnitized" for our Disney-crazed society! I use this explanation on Abe a lot! But rosemaried... it could work if correctly spelled and not placed in the context this freak chose to use. Example: Prior to baking, I rosemarried my chicken.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Ahhhh, good ol' Prof. Nichols! I wonder what he would have thought about that "senior feces" term that we made up to describe certain people's thesis papers...

Hmmm, call me crazy, but I think if this were a verb in the sense that you're using it, it should be "rosemaried" and not "rosemarried." Not sure why I say that--I think it just looks/feels better with one "r." (Am I really such a nerd that I'm discussing the potential ways of spelling/misspelling words that don't really exist? Yikes...)

moooooog35 said...

I made up "Mooge."

Wikipedia won't accept it...f*ckers.

I'm not sure that qualifies.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Ha! I should see if they'll accept "Grammarphile"...although I don't hold out much hope!

PearLady said...

Oh, I like making up words on a daily basis. It makes life much more entertaining, I think.
How could the cool word "grammarphile" not be listed in the urban dictionary? Hmm. It's now been submitted. We shall see if it takes. ;)

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Ooh...PearLady, please do keep me posted on whether ot not they actually accept "grammarphile" as a word! :)