Saturday, January 13, 2007


I love the very word: NEOLOGISM. Today I heard a great new one on Animal Planet's Animal Cops Miami. A rehabilitated abused dog was "ready to be rehomed." That would be re-home-ed if the meaning and pronounciation aren't immediately obvious looking at it in writing. It's brilliant. Turn a noun into a verb and add a prefix and you're good to go! Another favorite with a longer track record (at least in my experience) is the verb to regift, derived from yet another coinage, or abused part of speech if you will, to gift.

I'm sure lots of linguists are heartsick but I'm thrilled. How many such highly adaptive evolutionary processes do we have the privilege of witnessing, after all?

(The photo is of a decorative feature in the limestone wall of Rosenwald Hall on the University of Chicago campus.)

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