Create Your Own Vocabulary Once in a While

Do you have any words, terms, or idioms you can call your own, whether you invented them or solely used them in your circles? If not, try coming up with or finding some!

Language is fluid because it is never fully sufficient for what we need to express. So why would you limit yourself only to what has been defined in your usage of language? Any time you’re stuck for a word, term, or idiom, come up with your own and use it! Well, maybe except for strict, often formal, situations like work reports, but they’re rare.

For coming up with new words, terms, or idioms, I offer three ways to try. The first is a general method to just describe what you’re trying to express, and something might just come to you. For example, you want to go for coffee without someone late in the day, but only get decaf because you know the caffeine will keep you from sleeping well later, so you ask them to go for decaf.

The second is combining bits of two or more words associated with what you’re trying to describe, to make a what’s known as a portmanteau. For example, there’s a new sport played on a golf course where a soccer ball, aka football in most of the world, and feet are used instead of golf clubs and balls. It’s a combination of world football and golf, so it became known as footgolf.

Finally, action a noun to make it a verb. For example, instead of people having played footgolf, the noun was actioned to a verb so people footgolfed.

For what you want or need to express, try these tactics, something similar, or something else you come up with. Then be sure to do it once in a while. It’ll make you more colourful as a person, or at least as a speaker or a writer!

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This post is one of 70 quotes I wrote, each with an accompanying essay, in my e-book and paperback Stars I Put in my Sky to Live By, on Amazon or Smashwords (choose your price including free!).

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