Today’s guest post comes from Clyde.
We speak, by far, the language with the most words in it. The Germans manage to converse precisely, thank you, with something like a fourth or a fifth of our lexicon.
We have lots of words we do not use, and a few I could do without. Ampallung has now become an English word, but we could do without that word in all languages. (I was going to provide a link to an explanation of this, but everyone I found is too graphic.) It is a piercing through the penis. Everyone say “Ewwww.”
Some words we do not give their full and proper due. Coprolite, meaning a fossilized turd, is a word of which we could make much greater use. Start naming, to yourself only please, all the people you have known who are living coprolites.
But I still think some words are missing. We need a word for:
- That stuff, ragged, messing stuff, that is left when you tear a page out a spiral notebook. It is the bane of teachers. I required kids to cut off the ragged edge of such pages before they turned them in and to be careful not to drop that stuff, ragged, messing stuff around the room. I always wanted a word for it. I called it froo-froo, but that’s a stolen word. I used to hold contests to name that stuff, ragged, messing stuff. It never worked. My turkey-drawing contests worked but not that one.
- That stuff, stupid, cliched, never-dying stuff that gets sent to you over and over again in emails. Or at least between women. I have only rarely received such stuff, stupid, cliched, never-dying stuff from a male friend. My wife gets 4-5 a week, and everyone sending to her knows she does not like them and that I throw them all out before she opens her mail every 4-6 weeks.
- A tree standing alone isolated from other trees. Why, you are asking, do we need that word? I am not sure. I have just always wanted it. Any tree standing alone draws my eye, evokes some response from me.
Here are some solitary trees, uncharacteristically clumped together:
It is trees all alone in a field which have a power over me. I used to watch for the half dozen of them in the too-often-repeated drive from the Cities to Two Harbors. The only famous one of those is now gone, cut down by vandals, the Two Harbors Honking Tree, which was actually in Larsmont. This picture is by one of my very favorite students.
(We could use a word to describe the soul of the person who cut it down.)
Apparently in the right circumstance, I am not alone in being drawn to solitary trees. I have drawn many such trees. And my grand-daughter has my obsession. She draws this picture over and over again.
Share your ideas for words that should be added to or removed from the English language.