Monday, November 21, 2011

Creating New Words

Creating new words or should I say crenewrds  ...

Joint words are often used in poems …blending two words together  … here is an example of joint-words used in the poetry of Ted Hughes…

Lines from River (1983) - August Evening (Ted Hughes)
And the river
cools early, star-touched. New moon,
not new leaf-curl tender, but crisp.
breathes on the sliding glass. The river
still beer-tinted from the barley disaster
is becoming wintry.

The linked word often qualifies …

Star-touched … the type of touch … we can see the river taking up the touch of star from the night sky

Leaf-curl tender an adjective defining the reflection of the moon using the image of new curled leaf

Beer-tinted … defines the colour of the tint (reflection) and links to barley (used for beer) ... a crop that perhaps could not be harvested

… why isn’t sliding glass joined?

But what about some new words … completely new words …

Lewis Caroll was famed for creating new words … combining words to give a double meaning from any implied hidden words … many of the nonsense variety …

Take his poem - The Hunting of the Snark …

Well you may well ask what a snark is … it is a barking snake animal that has immense pleasure at stealing the golden egg of the boojum bird … the Boojum bird is not all together pleased when this happens because it only lays one egg.

You may not know this bird … boojum is a combination of boo – to surprise and jump … which of course is what happens when you suddenly come across such a creature … one of the favourite occupations of the Boojum is to surprise the unsuspecting … originally an animal but over the years it has evolved to become a bird ... it made one unforgetable jump.

The snark was of course hunted for the golden egg … but the problem was … when that poor Baker man eventually found the snark … after that incredible sea journey to a far-flung land … the snark cleverly hatched  the golden egg and flew away as a boojum bird with the Baker firmly it it’s talons … never to be seen again … and when all the other B crew members came on the scene they found nothing … not even a few crumbs ... a very sad tale.

In another poem fuming and furious become frumious … what a wonderful word … for example, say that annoying person has just irritated you beyond the usual and you want to let off a little steam … you don’t know whether you are more fuming or more furious - whether you are fuming-furious or furious-fuming … but to give equal measure and to double-vent your feelings just retort that you are totally frumious!

I will now create a new word … crenewrd … (pronounced cre nude) … with defintion - a new word based on two or more esixting words.

… and here is a crenewrd based on slippery and sticky … if something is both slippery and sticky at the same time then of course it is totally …slikipity  … a blending of sounds that tend to get a little stuck in the mouth no matter how slick you are. 

... and every poewit should define at least one crenewrd. It is quite natural, inevitable … so don’t be shy … go on, have a try!

Footnote …

Some ‘real’ dictionary definitions (boojum and snark are actually in the dictionary).

Boojum …an imaginary dangerous animal … origin 1876 nonsense word coined by Lewis Caroll in the hunting of the snark

Snark … an imaginary animal (in connection with a task or referencing something that is elusive or impossible to achieve) origin … Lewis Caroll

Brunch … a late morning meal eaten instead of breakfast and lunch … origin late 19th century blend

Motel … a roadside hotel designed primarily for motorists … origin 1920s blend of motor and hotel

Portmanteau word … a word blending the sounds and combining the meanings of two others

Portmanteau … a large travelling bag … typically leather and opening into two equal parts … origin med 16th century from French porter= carry and manteau=mantle= a covering of a specified sort

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