Blog in 08 2011.
There are about 600,000 words in the Oxford English Dictionary. But that isn’t enough. That’s what author and editor Lil Chase thinks. She says sometimes the words we have aren’t enough to express ourselves. We need more. And we’re inclined to agree.
That’s why we don’t have a blog, we’ve got a thingamablog. And why we don’t have a newsletter, we’ve got an ewotsit, ebit, eblah (or whatever else we decide to call it that day).
New words keep our language fresh and interesting. And they’re fun to say. Cromulent, bodacious, skeevy, muggle, investigatory, faffery, mingrid, hoozy, scrimpton, jooj, tekkers, baller, whatevs, ridic, contrafibularities, humpety, scrumbled, sclim and blant are some of the words we like. But it seems there are quite a few people making up their own words. There’s even an online unword dictionary, where people can share their words.
Even Shakespeare was at it: eyeball, puking, obscene, wormhole, epileptic, alligator. And if it was good enough for Mr. Shakespeare, it’s good enough for us.
* A sentiment of deep affection, mainly romantic changing someone from a pragmatic person to an incurable dreamer. (From SlangSite.com)
I was there on Saturday. It was hot, sweaty, cramped and crowded. And my train was delayed, indefinitely. I wasn’t livid, but it was the next station stop.
Thankfully they were sorry for any inconvenience. So that helped.
While I seethed, I thought to myself, who could've created such an awful, awful place?
I tried to find out the answer (as I mentioned, I had time) but came across a fitting critique instead. It’s by Richard Morrison, a critic at The Times, who describes it as:
“having been scribbled on the back of a soiled paper bag by a thuggish android with a grudge against humanity and a vampiric loathing of sunlight".
That's how to get off the fence.
I like to think of myself as adequate at getting to grips with new technology, at least compared to my parents. But I was goggle-eyed to read in the press that schools in the US are ditching handwriting and text books in favour of keyboards and iPad-filled classrooms. And they really are.
The Huffington Post said ‘Indiana school officials have announced that students will no longer be required to learn cursive writing, effective this [autumn]’.
And Apple Insider reported that ‘The state of Georgia is reportedly considering a plan to get rid of conventional textbooks and shift middle school classrooms in the state to wireless iPads built by Apple, following positive iPad trials in place by schools around the US.’
It goes on to say that ‘six middle schools in San Francisco, Long Beach, Fresno and Riverside, California are now teaching the first iPad-only algebra course.’
I felt shocked at my own panic, like I wanted to run away and shut myself in a room with my moleskine and selection of lovingly selected Stabilo pens. A new feeling arose which I’ve been suspecting for a while – there’s a modern world approaching I’m not quite ready for, in fact I’m dreading it.
Is it just me? Would the kids involved roll their eyes and say ‘Whatever’?
What of the beauty and therapy of writing? What of doodling away in your pad or textbook? Writing notes to each other in class? Writing several drafts of an essay? Crafting lovely handwriting? Having a pencil case? I’ve always been told better writing comes from the handwritten word first and typed up second. What of spelling? (Now I’m panicking again.) Is this now out of date?
Do we have to face the truth just yet? What’s the best way to keep writing alive in our increasingly techno-driven world?