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Lexical existence (was The evolution of Angosey: 5 Translations of the same poem across 11 years)

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  • Garth Wallace
    ... I think rather than a distinct in or out , there are gradations to a word s existence in a natlang. A one-off, nonce word is on the low end of the scale,
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 18 11:44 PM
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      On Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 7:22 PM, Daniel Bowman <danny.c.bowman@...> wrote:
      >
      > @BPJ
      > I see what you are driving at, but I'm not sure I agree. One could argue
      > (as you do) that the very act of using "glossarch" instantiates it as a
      > word, but I don't think it does, particularly because I present it as a
      > technical term in the English language. In other words, "glossarch" is not
      > a word in a conlang - I'm using as if it were actually an English word! If
      > people on the conlang list started saying they were glossarchs, then I
      > think we could call it a legitimate word. But a single person imposing a
      > word on an existing language? I'm not sure.

      I think rather than a distinct "in or out", there are gradations to a
      word's existence in a natlang. A one-off, nonce word is on the low end
      of the scale, though one made out of recognizable word-pieces like
      "glossarch" is more existencey than one that isn't, like "gornplatz".
    • Daniel Bowman
      ... I agree. I came up with glossarch because its meaning is deducible by a small but significant fraction of the English speaking population. However, if
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 19 5:09 AM
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        > I think rather than a distinct "in or out", there are gradations to a
        > word's existence in a natlang. A one-off, nonce word is on the low end
        > of the scale, though one made out of recognizable word-pieces like
        > "glossarch" is more existencey than one that isn't, like "gornplatz".
        >

        I agree. I came up with "glossarch" because its meaning is deducible by a
        small but significant fraction of the English speaking population.
        However, if someone were to see the name of my blog and ask me (without
        reading the "About Me" section) whether or not "glossarch" is a real word,
        I would answer "no." That's because, although I use it and it is derived
        from existing roots, the word "glossarch" is to my knowledge used by no one
        else but me. If the person wanted to dig deeper, I would likely use
        Garth's reasoning and point out that it's "not not a word, but not much of
        a word either" if that makes sense.

        If I used "glossarch" in the "About Me" section without explicitly saying I
        created it, I feel that I would be deceiving my readers into thinking
        "glossarch" was an accepted term for a conlanger, which at this point it is
        not.
        If a perhaps more linguistically naive reader were to impose a binary
        condition on glossarch's wordhood, I think the fact that I created it and
        am the sole user would push it into the "not a word" category in their eyes.
        Perhaps I should update the "About Me' section with a more nuanced
        description of wordhood...?
      • BPJ
        ... I d actually argue that a word made out of recognizable word-pieces -- and their recognizable meanings -- *is* a word. A nonce-word, yes, and probably
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 20 3:08 PM
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          On 2013-02-19 08:44, Garth Wallace wrote:
          > On Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 7:22 PM, Daniel Bowman <danny.c.bowman@...> wrote:
          >>
          >> @BPJ
          >> I see what you are driving at, but I'm not sure I agree. One could argue
          >> (as you do) that the very act of using "glossarch" instantiates it as a
          >> word, but I don't think it does, particularly because I present it as a
          >> technical term in the English language. In other words, "glossarch" is not
          >> a word in a conlang - I'm using as if it were actually an English word! If
          >> people on the conlang list started saying they were glossarchs, then I
          >> think we could call it a legitimate word. But a single person imposing a
          >> word on an existing language? I'm not sure.
          >
          > I think rather than a distinct "in or out", there are gradations to a
          > word's existence in a natlang. A one-off, nonce word is on the low end
          > of the scale, though one made out of recognizable word-pieces like
          > "glossarch" is more existencey than one that isn't, like "gornplatz".
          >

          I'd actually argue that a word "made out of recognizable
          word-pieces" -- and their recognizable meanings --
          *is* a word. A nonce-word, yes, and probably not a
          Standard <Language of Choice> word, but a word none
          the less. I do not put a great deal of store on
          prescriptivism and the strange branch of conlanging
          called language standardization -- especially not when
          the product is peddled as The One True <Language>,
          but I can appreciate the gradation, and I said as much.

          /bpj
        • Matthew George
          It might be appropriate to mention the episode of The Simpsons that coined two neologisms that subsequently
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 21 12:29 PM
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            It might be appropriate to mention the episode of The
            Simpsons<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_the_Iconoclast>that coined
            two neologisms that subsequently became widely recognized:
            embiggen and cromulent. The former now occurs in an article about string
            theory published in *High Energy Physics* and subsequently discussed in *
            Nature*; the latter has been listed by Dictionary.com.

            Are they 'real' words, now?

            Matt G.
          • George Corley
            ... Embiggen is certainly a word. I m not sure how much use cromulent gets -- I ve only really heard it in contexts talking about that episode (where it is,
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 21 1:10 PM
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              On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 2:29 PM, Matthew George <matt.msg@...> wrote:

              > It might be appropriate to mention the episode of The
              > Simpsons<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_the_Iconoclast>that coined
              > two neologisms that subsequently became widely recognized:
              > embiggen and cromulent. The former now occurs in an article about string
              > theory published in *High Energy Physics* and subsequently discussed in *
              > Nature*; the latter has been listed by Dictionary.com.
              >
              > Are they 'real' words, now?
              >
              > Matt G.
              >

              Embiggen is certainly a word. I'm not sure how much use "cromulent" gets
              -- I've only really heard it in contexts talking about that episode (where
              it is, of course, presented as an on-the-spot coinage for humor value).
              I'm not even entirely sure what it's supposed to mean. Perhaps something
              like "proper, real" or maybe "in common use".
            • Jim Henry
              ... I ve never seen the episode in question, and the first several times I heard the word used I didn t recognize the reference, and yet the meaning was clear
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 22 3:39 PM
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                On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 4:10 PM, George Corley <gacorley@...> wrote:
                > Embiggen is certainly a word. I'm not sure how much use "cromulent" gets
                > -- I've only really heard it in contexts talking about that episode (where
                > it is, of course, presented as an on-the-spot coinage for humor value).

                I've never seen the episode in question, and the first several times I
                heard the word used I didn't recognize the reference, and yet the
                meaning was clear from context. And I'm pretty sure I've seen it used
                more recently in ways that aren't simply references to the Simpsons
                episode.

                --
                Jim Henry
                http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/
                http://www.jimhenrymedicaltrust.org
              • Patrick Dunn
                I used it today in linguistics, when I explained that colorless green ideas sleep furiously is perfectly cromulant syntactically despite being meaningless
                Message 7 of 8 , Feb 22 3:59 PM
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                  I used it today in linguistics, when I explained that "colorless green
                  ideas sleep furiously" is perfectly cromulant syntactically despite being
                  meaningless semantically.

                  But then again, I had to, because of this discussion.


                  On Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 5:39 PM, Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...> wrote:

                  > On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 4:10 PM, George Corley <gacorley@...> wrote:
                  > > Embiggen is certainly a word. I'm not sure how much use "cromulent" gets
                  > > -- I've only really heard it in contexts talking about that episode
                  > (where
                  > > it is, of course, presented as an on-the-spot coinage for humor value).
                  >
                  > I've never seen the episode in question, and the first several times I
                  > heard the word used I didn't recognize the reference, and yet the
                  > meaning was clear from context. And I'm pretty sure I've seen it used
                  > more recently in ways that aren't simply references to the Simpsons
                  > episode.
                  >
                  > --
                  > Jim Henry
                  > http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/
                  > http://www.jimhenrymedicaltrust.org
                  >



                  --
                  Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
                  order from Finishing Line
                  Press<http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
                  and
                  Amazon<http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2>.
                • Adam Walker
                  Okay, so while googling cromulent to find uses NOT related to or mentioning The Simpsons (like The Cromulent Shakespeare Company and Cromulent Records) I found
                  Message 8 of 8 , Feb 22 4:35 PM
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                    Okay, so while googling cromulent to find uses NOT related to or mentioning
                    The Simpsons (like The Cromulent Shakespeare Company and Cromulent Records)
                    I found another word to love and promote -- fauxcabulary! I love this
                    word! And it seems that cromulent has been featured as a "word of the day"
                    by several vocabulary building sites. I found a football site talking
                    about being a cromulent quarterback! Oh and this!
                    http://www.hotelchatter.com/story/2007/3/21/165625/530/hotels/Vietnam's_Evason_Hideaway_is_Romantically_Cromulent

                    It's still pretty much a joke word, but it is starting to get use sans
                    Simpson refernce and without the near obligatory "perfectly" fronting it.

                    Adam

                    On Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 5:59 PM, Patrick Dunn <pwdunn@...> wrote:

                    > I used it today in linguistics, when I explained that "colorless green
                    > ideas sleep furiously" is perfectly cromulant syntactically despite being
                    > meaningless semantically.
                    >
                    > But then again, I had to, because of this discussion.
                    >
                    >
                    > On Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 5:39 PM, Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > > On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 4:10 PM, George Corley <gacorley@...>
                    > wrote:
                    > > > Embiggen is certainly a word. I'm not sure how much use "cromulent"
                    > gets
                    > > > -- I've only really heard it in contexts talking about that episode
                    > > (where
                    > > > it is, of course, presented as an on-the-spot coinage for humor value).
                    > >
                    > > I've never seen the episode in question, and the first several times I
                    > > heard the word used I didn't recognize the reference, and yet the
                    > > meaning was clear from context. And I'm pretty sure I've seen it used
                    > > more recently in ways that aren't simply references to the Simpsons
                    > > episode.
                    > >
                    > > --
                    > > Jim Henry
                    > > http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/
                    > > http://www.jimhenrymedicaltrust.org
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > --
                    > Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
                    > order from Finishing Line
                    > Press<
                    > http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
                    > and
                    > Amazon<
                    > http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2
                    > >.
                    >
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