A while back a friend sent me this great link from Cracked.com — 9 Words That Don’t Mean What You Think. Some of them I already knew were used incorrectly by a majority of people – ‘irregardless’ and ‘ironic,’ for instance – but others, most of the others, in fact, I was shocked to find I was ignorant of their true meanings as well (though without blame, I think, for as the article points out, most of the wrong meanings have already basically become common usage, though I will make sure to only use them in their correct form from now on).
Coinciding with this, often while I was writing my book I ran into situations where I wanted to use a certain word, only to be dismayed to find that it wasn’t actually a word. But I figure if most people can use a bunch of words incorreclty and no one really cares, why can’t I declare some new words that should be words anyway? So I will.
Be forewarned, there’s nothing wholly original here – it’s quite possible these are ‘words’ people have been complaining about even before the Internet came around to give people a perfect forum for complaining; but if that’s the case, I’m surprised the dictionaries haven’t been updated yet. Anyway, here we go – let’s start with a few easy ones:
Yes, unbelievably, this is technically not a word. I’m basing that on my computer’s dictionary widget, the spell-check in both Firefox and Pages, and Dictionary.com, which does have a listing, but gives the example sentence as: “Pay him no nevermind,” which of course is not how it’s commonly used anyway. ‘Nevermind’ is derived from and means the same as ‘never you mind,’ meaning, of course, ‘mind your business,’ but the Oxfords and Colliers and Websters of the world haven’t yet got around to officially recognizing this compacting of the phrase . Seems pretty stupid to me, so – make it a word already!
We all know about this one already . . . except Sloan is wrong! Turns out this has been accepted as a word (I can find two sources). Shame on you Chris Murphy – trying to mislead a whole generation of young, innocent Canadians with your lies.
Now getting down to some serious ones here. ‘Improprietous’ would be the adjective form of ‘impropriety;’ so ‘my, that was very improprietous of him.’ What’s wrong with that? Rolls right off the tongue, if you ask me. This should be a word; I really can’t fathom why it isn’t, especially given that the Latin root of ‘impropriety’ is ‘proprietās.’ You’d think that those 17th & 18th c. Neo-Classicist eggheads who went around making up all those grammar rules like ‘don’t split your infinitives’ could have found some time to make ‘improprietous’ a word. Alas, they were probably too much into the snuff.
Any Word That Should Have an Adverb Form
Again, I often found myself wanting to use many words which would specifically say what I specifically meant, but found that I couldn’t because they weren’t real words; this happened very frequently with adverbs. For example: ‘trepidatiously’ is not a word, even though the adjective ‘trepidatious’ is. How does that make sense? ‘Panickedly’ – also along the same lines. So, yeah, if the word has an adjective form, but for no apparent reason doesn’t have an ‘official’ adverb form, I say it should be made official. We would actually be gaining a huge multitude of new yet extremely useful words that people have probably been wanting to use for centuries anyway.
I mean, if ‘bling’ is listed on Dictionary.com, we can list some new adverbs.
Somebody get on it.