Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Save the words!

I'm indebted to my student Lydia for tonight's entry.  She posted on our academic online community about savethewords.org, a site produced by the makers of the Oxford English Dictionary.  You are hereby invited  to adopt a word that is in danger of expiring from disuse.

I took trophaeal, adj., of or pertaining to trophies.  It seems like a word that deserves to live.  I mean, if we want to discuss trophaeal industries these days, we have to use infelicitous phrases like "trophy shop" or "trophy maker."  The only way we can refer to trophaeal display solutions is to talk about "trophy cases."  I think we can all agree that there's a troubling ambiguity there.  Are the shops, makers, and cases worthy of trophies -- that is, they are of the highest quality?  Or are they pertaining to trophies?  Trophaeal clears everything up.

Best of all, it's got that whole "aea" vowel cluster thing going on at the end.  That's super-classy.

So please join me in utilizing trophaeal in everyday conversation, whenever possible.  And if you adopt your own word, I'll be happy to return the favor.

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