Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Campaign for Cromulent Words... by Barbara (Ruth)

A while ago I posted about "Good Words", and I got quite a response! There really is a dearth (GW) of good words in today's general spoken and/or written word, and I was pleased to learn there are a number of fellow "wordies" out there.

But how many of you like Cromulent Words?

Oh, you don't know what a cromulent word is? Ahhh... Now we are separating the wheat from the chaffe.

First uttered on the Simpsons episode "Lisa the Iconoclast" in 1996, cromulent is a made up word that describes made up words as real words. Sound confusing? It is. It's the circular reasoning that makes it so brilliant. Cromulence usually refers to words that sound like they should be words, but aren't.

For example, the state motto of Springfield, the city in which the Simpsons live, is "a noble spirit embiggens the smallest man." What a great use of cromulence! So great, that at work my friend Chris and I dared each other to use embiggen in a sentence in a meeting. And we did it. And no one noticed!

Some of you might think that cromulence would apply to words that some people use incorrectly and that just aren't words at all. Words like orientated, anticdotal, dethaw (oh that one really irks me), and even beers (look it up).

No, cromulent words are completely and totally made up. Here are a few examples:
  • Chestal. "I have a cold, mostly in the chestal area."
  • Wonderance. "The place was imbued with wonderance and youth."
  • Interconnectitude. "This project is so complex we need to be sure to consider all the points of interconnectitude."
  • Mononeurosymbiosis. "I was just thinking the same thing. Yet another example of our mononeurosymbiosis!"
Have you got any examples of cromulence in your lexicon (GW)? If so, let me know and I'll postify it!

1 comment:

  1. I can't claim to have made up any myself, but two of my favorites are sarchasm (the gulf between the person making the sarcastic remark and the person who doesn't get it) and glibido (all talk and no action).