Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"Most sniglets are too clever for their own good"

The TimesOnline has an interesting piece about how we make up words to fill "lexical gaps," those ideas and things that we have trouble describing. Actually, I think it's an excerpt from The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature by Steven Pinker.

I think these made up words are called sniglets? That's what Pinker says, and he seems like he would know. Anyhow, here's an example:

Furbling v. Having to go through a maze of ropes at an airport or bank even if you’re the only person in line.

The excerpt also talks about how annoying these made-up words really are.

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