This Bamdamconfuzzles me.

Click here for the Article.

Name: In defence of unnecessary words
Date: 6/2/14
Author: Stan Carey

Key Ideas:

  • New Neologisms can appear at any time, and no-one  will know when or how it will happen.
  • Be creative, enjoy the fun of new words
  • Likes the idea of freedom to make up new words, and not the annoyance of fixating on sufficiency
  • Annoyed at snobby literary critics that think that words NEED a meaning
Language Features: Neologisms, semantics, suffixation
Course Aspects: Unit 3 - AoS 1: Relationship between the context and the features of language in informal texts, analyse the effects of context on language choices

Personal Opinion: I think that Carey is right, and that words don’t need boundaries. Words should be free and come in whatever shape or form they like. Talking about how we are ‘well stocked’ with words is ridiculous. Words are being created every day, whether they require a meaning or not. It doesn’t mean that they should not be spoken. The English Language is built on the imagination of people and their ability to make words, and should not be restricted by people that think there are too many or they need to make sense.


  • “instinctive inclination to play with words and letters as though they were an abstract kind of toy”
  • the ultimate question is, Is it necessary?” To answer that properly we must consider carefully the word necessary.
  • When we talk about whether there’s a need for some grammatical or lexical innovation, we shouldn’t limit our interpretation to semantics.
  • William Zinsser, in his classic On Writing Well, puts his foot down firmly on upstarts and colloquialisms he dislikes: “I won’t accept ‘notables’ and ‘greats’ and ‘upcoming’ and countless other newcomers. They are cheap words and we don’t need them.” No amazeroonie for him, I bet.

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