WE NEED SOME new words. University teacher Jenny Eagleton sent me the following letter:
“Dear Mr Jam, I wonder if you have made-up words for the following? I tried to get my linguistics course students to do this, but I think that they were stumped. Thanks.”
Here’s her list:
- Fending off open umbrellas from shorter people in crowds when it is raining
- On hearing someone about to clear their throat behind you
- People rushing into train before you can get out
- Pressing lift buttons multiple times to try to get the lift door closed quickly.
- Walking up the escalator rather than standing still
I know you’ll find this easy, gang. You may recall that we made up a bunch of words last year. Here are a few of them, just to remind you about how to do it.
Abdomoan: The strange whining noises that come from your stomach when you’re doing the Atkins no-carbs diet.
Abracandalabra: The technique of adding candlesticks to the table to make dinner magically romantic.
Absolescence: Teenage ability to make any adolescent trend instantly out of date, as in: “That’s so ten minutes ago.”
Chickweed: Slim, pastel-colored cigarettes marketed for young women.
Chimpansy: The male monkey who sits in the corner of the cage, refuses to wrestle for supremacy with the alpha male apes, and spends his time doing another chimp’s hair.
Crushtasian: Getting into overcrowded public transport in Asia and feeling like a tinned prawn.
So let’s make up some new words.
You can use Jenny’s list, or just make them up out of the blue, like last time.
The best ones I will compile into a column to be sent to newspapers and magazines in a week or so.
Second, I have had lots of letters suggesting ways this column could evolve. One or two said there were too many updates; they wanted fewer, longer posts and meatier discussions. Others said it should evolve into a free, web-accessible TV segment. Still others wanted more of a focus on creativity/fiction etc. All these are possibilities. If there’s any particular direction you think this gang should go in, please share your thoughts. Huge thanks as always.