15 September 2016

English should have a word for ...

Here are two suggestions from The Atlantic's What Concept Most Needs a Word in the English Language? column:
We need a word for the mental suffering that results from someone else’s misuse of a word or phrase in one’s presence, the distress being magnified by an abiding sense of politeness that precludes correcting the other person—coupled with an intensifying melancholy about the confused changes that so many words are undergoing as a result of mass indifference to linguistic tradition. I suggest wordschmerz.
Bryan A. Garner, author, Garner’s Modern English Usage 
The fallacy of attributing every unfortunate outcome to deliberate intent,and neglecting the possibility of incompetence, unplanned by-products, or entropy.
Steven Pinker, author, The Blank Slate

1 comment:

  1. Re the mental suffering: I prefer wortschmerz.

    Re the unintended outcome: for example Brexit? But I can't think of a neologism for it.

    ReplyDelete

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