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An Antediluvian and Quixotic Dream? Bring Back Retired Words!

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Slang. Shoptalk. Jargon. Lingo. Whatever you may call it, we all use informal words and slang every day, whether we are aware of it or not. These modern words are aware of it or not. These modern words are by no means useless, but when we all use it to the point of absolute insanity, it can become a bit, well, insane!
Technically speaking, slang is defined as “very informal words and phrases that are more common in speech than in writing and are used by a particular group of people.” (Oxford Dictionary of Current English) Who is that ‘particular group of people’? Does it have to be us? I think not. Slang may have its place occasionally in casual conversation, but whatever happened to great old words like ‘galoshes’ or ‘flibbertigibbet’? What did they do to deserve the neglect and replacement they have endured over the years? Nothing! These words were solely forgotten among the hordes of new slang words appearing daily, and I say they deserve to be brought back into the light.
Why? You want to know why we should give a flying monkey’s butt about these archaic words? The answer is both complicated and simple: Why not? Imagine you are an English teacher grading an assignment. Wouldn’t you enjoy and possibly give higher marks to the paper that reads, “Those abominable caitiffs were in cahoots all along!” as opposed to one that simply states, “The villains were working together.”? Uncommon words make life more interesting, make people really listen and think about what you say, make you stand out from the flock of mindless sheep the student body can tend to be, and besides, it’s quite fun!
There are entire organizations, such as Wayne State University’s Word Warriors (wordwarriors.wayne.edu) dedicated to the revival of such words, but even still, it will take much more to keep us from all using only the words ‘du-jour’. This is why we need your help. Just once, try using the word bamboozle, charlatan, rubbish, frolic, imperious, snog or even kerfuffle! The linguistic revolution begins now!
(for info and more neglected words, check out wordwarriors.wayne.edu/list.php)



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Zaria said...
Apr. 3, 2011 at 9:59 pm:
Yay I'm not the only one My fave word is kerfuffl HAHA IVEI'VE GOT MORE TO SAY BUT MY IPOD KEYBOARD HATES ME SO BYE
 
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