I was very interested to see this TED talk today:
I was thinking about making up words last night, as a result of the article in American Scientist (see my last blog). It occurred to me that a lot of our words have been stolen from us. I remember, when I was a student, my manuscripts used to be edited for ‘old-fashioned’ words. At the same time there was an anti-rural ethos. Any work about the countryside was discarded as ‘irrelevant’. (‘Most people live in towns and cities now’, they said.) To an extent this has changed, but there is still a lot of censorship when it comes to the words which are acceptable. I remember being in the ridiculous position of wanting to tell my boyfriends that they were using words that ‘are not modern’. No – I’m not talking crude… That is recognised in any age. I mean words like ‘my beloved’. Is it possible that those hide-bound editors who censored our vocabulary had not experienced the passion of a young and loving heart?
I had grown so used to censorship that I accepted it without thinking, and now I have to consciously look for words that have been edited out, and try to retrieve them. English seems a poor language sometimes, but perhaps it is because of this process of word exclusion!
Love, and happy Christmas to all!