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08 February 2013 @ 04:23 pm
15 Common Words That Are (Probably) Made Up  
LinkedIn just sent me this headline as a link*. Now I assume that by "made up" they mean "does not appear in our authoritative dictionary of choice"**, but my immediate thought was to wonder how on Earth you could have a word (common or otherwise) that was not made up?

* I've no real idea why LinkedIn frequently emails me lists of apparently random links. I'm not even entirely sure why I have a LinkedIn account except that people kept sending me invites and in the end joining and making an account seemed like the path of least resistance.

** Article here - I've not read it so I've no idea if my supposition is correct.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/89048.html.
Susanlil_shepherd on February 8th, 2013 05:06 pm (UTC)
Actually, a lot of them seem to be common mis-spellings and misuses.
louisedennislouisedennis on February 8th, 2013 05:21 pm (UTC)
Hmm... having looked at the list I'd say that most I've never come across (but are possibly more common in the states) and the one's I have come across - preventative, societal, in particular, don't really seem to belong in the list - societal they even acknowledge has its own specific connotation which distinguishes it from social.
Elaine of Astolatladyofastolat on February 8th, 2013 06:29 pm (UTC)
When Shakespeare invents words, he's a creative genius. When regular people invent words, they're mangling and abusing the English language. When new words are created when you're 2, they are perfectly natural additions to the language. When new words are created when you're 60, they're a hideous debasement.

Doesn't stop me wincing at "thusly," though - even as I quite happily say things like "coolth."
louisedennislouisedennis on February 8th, 2013 07:28 pm (UTC)
There are several words that irritate me intensely (deplane for instance) but I find it hard to imagine them as somehow more made up than other words.
ewxewx on February 8th, 2013 07:12 pm (UTC)
Mishearings/misanalysis, perhaps, e.g. eggcorns? But perhaps those are accidentally made-up.
louisedennislouisedennis on February 8th, 2013 07:29 pm (UTC)
I wondered about onomatopeia, whether maybe they are adopted rather than made up...
Kargicqkargicq on February 9th, 2013 07:32 am (UTC)
Hmm, I wonder how an eggcorn is different from a mondegreen?
louisedennislouisedennis on February 9th, 2013 10:18 am (UTC)
It looks like a mondegreen is a mis-hearing in the context of a song or poem, while an eggcorn is a mispronounciation in a more general way. But they are obviously closely related.
king_pellinor: P Knightking_pellinor on February 9th, 2013 08:56 am (UTC)
"Participator" is a defined term in UK tax (it's someone who has a significant interest in a company, whether shares or debt).

The comment on "Height" is rubbish. Is "height" not derived from "high", perhaps, rather than "tall"? I think the "th" has turned to "t" in general use because heighth" sounds too similar to "high"
louisedennislouisedennis on February 9th, 2013 10:19 am (UTC)
Some bits of the list do seem quite odd - but I suppose that lists on the internet for you...
king_pellinor: P Knightking_pellinor on February 9th, 2013 08:58 am (UTC)
I think an eggcorn is a deliberate pun, intended to improve on the original in some way (perhaps just "I like it"), whereas a mondegreen is an accident.
inamac: Quote-Civilinamac on February 9th, 2013 08:40 pm (UTC)
'Commentate' is not the same as 'comment'. The former is a specific usage in a sporting and media context. There are a number of other specialist usages that do appear in dictionaries - at least, authoritative ones.
louisedennislouisedennis on February 9th, 2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
Lists. On the Internet. I should know better really *g*

That said, the list itself acknowledges that societal has specialist uses and yet still implies that it is "wrong" in some amorphous sense.