Wednesday, June 16, 2010

And That Would Mean…?

Old-fashioned gal that I am, I still keep a thick, tangible, small-fonted, page-infested dictionary within reach of my workstation. (Okay, maybe I’m not so old-fashioned. I didn’t call where I sit a “desk,” right?) I like going into the tome to double-check the meaning of a relatively abstruse word. Other times, I enjoy looking up a word I’ve taken for granted for most of my literate years.

Today, because of an issue I’d like to explore in this post, I looked up the word “word.”

According to my copy of the New Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus of the English Language, the primary definition of “word” is this: “a speech sound or combination of sounds having meaning and used as a basic unit of language and human communication” [then there are two vertical parallel lines followed by] “the written or printed symbol of one of these basic units of language.”

Nothing new there, right?

Okay, so against that definition, here’s a list that may be of interest.

hornu
poolume
malitza
reddedi
undeverr
irlati
roudom
pedine
opsion
derminte
afretrim

See any words in there?

Neither do I.

And yet, those are some of the “words” I have had to “verify” lately when posting comments on blogs and making other online maneuvers that involve the use of my email address and various passwords.

Word Verification, they call it.

I don’t think so.

The administrators of cyberspace need to reconsider that phrase. If they want to keep “Word,” they should lose “Verification.” If they want to keep “Verification,” they need to come up with something other than “Word.” I mean, come on, who are we kidding here!

On the other hand, I’m always one to rise to a creative challenge, so I thought I’d come up with some definitions for these alleged “words.” Some possibilities:

hornu (n.): a prostitute-in-training
poolume (v.): (from the French; accent on the final e): to strut about as if one has the feathers of a peacock
malitza (adj.): simultaneously sick and adorable
reddedi (n.): a spiral-shaped pasta made from radishes (hence, the scarlet hue)
undeverr (n.): German lingerie
irlati (n.): short-temperedness resulting from the consumption of too much coffee
roudom (adj.): appearing to be random, but actually passive-aggressive
pedine (n.): the shine emanating from nail polish freshly applied to the toes
opsion (n.): a choice available only to the pretentious
derminte (n.): a skin condition generally caused by an overdose of Altoids
afretrim (n.): an over-the-counter weight-loss supplement whose common side effects include, but are not limited to, an inability to find one’s tweezers

I don’t know. Should we compose a new dictionary for modern times?

The list above is by no means exhaustive. Following are several more “words” I’ve had to verify lately. Please feel free to suggest some definitions for:

verspen….. agies….. amoli….. gloggist….. boopy….. culne….. peedio….. devokers….. plopread….. fulneu….. hewsent….. oraver….. elebod….. lessessi….. sylshimi….. eleaun….. entsmana….. cowsesse….. untous….. amideamp….. mytor….. nomaersl….. patoxe….. donsphe….. recophoa….. phedlge….. wanin….. phythe….. hanki….. fitypep….. hohotagg…..

Oh, and to be perfectly fair, I should confess that, recently, I did have to verify a word that was really a word. And here’s the best part. The word was: mistype.

I cannot begin to tell you how tempted I was…

8 comments:

Cheryl said...

You're a little behind the times, although I bow your take on this.

The secret language of bloggers

You be-atch! You have word verification enabled!

redib: what annoying children do when they think you didn't hear them the first time they called out "I've got shotgun this time!"

Katie Gates said...

Cheryl, your list is hilarious, and to others reading here: as Cheryl's comment indicates, she already started the non-word dictionary project! Her list appeared on her blog about 9 days before I discovered her and became a follower. Check hers out!
Hmm... I wonder if there are other lists out there?

Hiromi Stone said...

hohotagg: A game where "it" is determined by who gets hit with the ho ho.

Martha said...

"Phythe" - what posh people plead in order not to testify.

cjschlottman said...

This is so good, and I love Cheryl's words, too! Let me try one: "oraver" - overly average. Thanks for the fun!

Lisa K. said...

I think I'm an old-fashioned gal too in that regard. I always keep a paper copy of a dictionary and a thesaurus. In fact I had one thesaurus that I absolutely adored. It was torn, battered, and missing most of the Z entries because the pages had simply fallen away. But it killed me when I finally had to get rid of that book.

deborahjbarker said...

Just commented on Cheryl's blog - yes made me laugh too. As I said on her's, I can rarely see the letters first time, they all seem to be either stuck together or just distorted so much my eyes wont tell me what they are meant to be so I am impressed - I feel I am answering a trick question every time I have to transcribe them!
Um 'elebod' - description of someone who has eaten too many pies and resembles that animal with a trunk?

Martha said...

Verspen - the writing implement favored by poets.