Inventing new words

Inventing new words

Written By: / Editorial / Saturday, 05 July 2014 00:00

When William Shakespeare completed one of his classic work - A Midsummer Night’s Dream, he invented around 1700 words in his plays and poems.

Likewise, some of the renowned newspaper editor of the state like Bharat Bhusan, Former Editor of Huiyen Lanpao had also invented some of the Meiteilon words to make the readers understood what the report was actually meant without losing unnecessary space in his newspaper. The kind of invention if followed decency is perhaps a way to enrich a language.

Some of the writers still felt that they should be allowed the same freedom, and a writer when used a word snitty Microsoft insisted that ‘snitty’ isn’t a word either.

Shakespeare never had to deal with such constraints. Some words Shakespeare had invented are eyeballs, puking, obscene, and skim milk.

Here are some words I wish he would have invented:

Another word for ‘drop’. Oh sure, there’s plunge and plummet, but you can’t use them interchangeably. You can’t have a character plunge her car keys on the floor. No one has ever said, “Hey, plummet the act. I know you’re lying.” Nor has anyone’s mouth ever plunged open.

Another word for ‘door.’ We use them all the time. Character’s are constantly coming in them, stalking out them, walking toward them, and slamming them. It’s hard not to overuse the word. And don’t tell me I could use portal—no one actually thinks of a door as a portal unless they are in spaceship or a submarine.

And  Shakespeare should have invented multiple words for ‘turn’. In your novel, things will turn colors, turn up, or turn from one thing into another. Your characters will take turns, make right turns, turn over, turn back, turn their attention to things, see how something turns out, and turn things down. They will also frequently turn to each other. You can replace a few of those turns with spin, but that only works if your characters are angry or ballerinas. If any word deserves a few synonyms, it’s turn.

On the other hand, there are also words which could be happily axe from the English language to make life easier. Many a time we have mistyped the word rifle in when reporting crime stories and spelled it riffle. The problem is that riffle is a real word. Spell check doesn’t catch it.   It means: to form, flow over, or move in riffles.

How many times have we all written about our riffling habits?

Maybe someone should add a function to the computer so that anytime someone grabs a riffle, a little warning pops up that says, “You amuse our computer brain, silly mortal.  And by the way, you have lightening cuting through the sky while your character is waking to the car.”

About the Author

Maheshwar Gurumayum

Maheshwar Gurumayum

Maheshwar Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since 2013. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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