(original post-date: June 16, 2010)
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.
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…