As I’ve said in the past, Twitter is a hot bed of inspiration and creative thinking for me. It’s also a great collaborative space. One of the latest publishing collaborations was recently with “Doctors” Sawhill, Hauser, and myself on a new word. That’s right, the three of us created a new word. One might call the word a sniglet, or neologism. A word that doesn’t exist in a dictionary, but should. The defacto publishing space for newly created words is, of course, the Urban Dictionary. If you don’t know about the Urban Dictionary, it is essentially a dictionary of slang. So our new word is commingling with some rude or, some might consider, vulgar words. So be it. It is an interesting experiment for me to see if this word can graduate to legitimacy (i.e. Websters, or dare I say Oxford).
So how did this word come about? It came about, like most sniglets by thinking there should be a word that describes something like this – music that is in your head from the moment you wake that almost shouldn’t be there. We all get songs in our head, mostly of the earworm variety. Ones that we would prefer not to have there. Well, I and my colleagues felt there should be a word for a song that is in our head that is generally a good one, but wasn’t placed there by a recent event. In other words there is no good explanation for why it’s there.
So here’s how the short conversation on Twitter went.
After some suggestions like earunicorn and earbutterfly We had this one:
Earring. So let’s get it official. Off to Urban Dictionary to add a new word. A couple days later and it’s been accepted. So that’s the story of how a word came to be, and it’s interesting to be living in a time where we build our language and culture in this collaborative way. Wikipedia is the other great example of this. I look forward to the next great (?!?) collaboration with my distinguished colleagues. So to all of you, go make up some words.