Invented Words, Part 1


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Welcome to invention a production of iheartradio. Hey Welcome to invention. My name is Robert Lamb. And I'm Joe McCormick and today we're going to be discussing a linguistic subject some linguistic inventions. I thought it would be a good idea to begin with some good malapropisms. I love a good Malapropism And we're of course not above coining one here and there ourselves on the show sometimes So what's a malapropism before we get into our favorite examples? It's the usually unintentionally humorous misuse or distortion of a word or phrase. So usually it's a word or phrase that sounds like what you mean to say but is not what you mean to say for example Jesus healing the leopards one. Yeah they're often used to comedic effect like like you mentioned and Oh sometimes you'll see the ladder this idea of it being a phrase defined as a Mala for a Metaphor Elsa sounds delicious right though we have to stress that mouth for itself is an invented word and potentially amount appropriate them in and of itself. Oh I can see that like somebody who is trying to say malapropism but they got confused and said Mala for right or or just intentionally did it. And we'll get into some of the more intentional acts of this as we go The Sopranos is a great source of very memorable Malapropisms I like when There's part where Christopher multi talks about creating a little dysentery in the ranks Which reminds me of One about scientology. The the idea. That L Ron Hubbard. Had the philosophy of diuretics. But there's another one in the Sopranos where The character little carmine. He's talking about the scene. In a horror movie. And he says it juxtaposes the sacred and the propane or there's part Tony to describes his mom as an albacore around my neck. Oh instead of an Albatross. Very good this is more of a phrase but I instantly thought of the of the big Lebowski when the points out the Jackie Tree Horn treat objects like women the code of the Coen brothers paint with this sort of brushed a lot in their dialogue. I was reading a little bit about this live. Basically I was looking for some more examples of of of malapropisms in the COEN brothers Work and I ran across this senses of Cinema Post by Paul Callan from several years back and he described the Coen brothers use of dialogue as quote the dialogue of wonderful in articulacy at. That's about right now. You'll also another place you see. A lot of Malapropism is the sometimes used as part of racial stereotypes. One example that comes to mind and you see this listed on various Trope websites is The Fisher Stevens role in the short circuits movies. I'm never seen short-circuit. Well probably all right reason to go back to these but these were forced movies about a robot league they become self aware and has a laser cannon on its shoulder and it's like a puppet. Does it do cute robot malapropisms? No it doesn't but Fisher. Stevens plays an Indian scientist. Oh and in. He's this This this This accent and he's he's just bus out a number of these and ultimately it's kind of like this idea the comedic racial stereotype of someone who doesn't have a great grasp on the English language and therefore stumbles into all of these That's unfortunate yeah But the use of Malapropisms in fiction does go way way back like Shakespeare used malapropisms. A Lot The character of dog. Berry and much ado about nothing famously delivers a bunch of these. And they're great dog buries this incompetent night constable. And he's supposed to be. I think a satire on the Amateur Police Forces of Elizabethan Times and a lot of the humor comes through in him giving confused. Orders like He when he's trying to get one of his deputies to apprehend all vagrants but instead he says you ought comprehend all Viagra men and he tells them to be vigilant. I beseech you and then there's a great part later where he claims that a bad dude will be condemned into everlasting redemption with it. There's a there's fun to be had with With with malapropisms right. Because you can sort of you can have your character fumble into something something. A little more articulate than they mean to tell us. Yeah that's interesting. Like the idea of everlasting. Redemption is sort of a cool metaphor even though he just is screwing up words but after this character actually since sometime in the nineteenth century malapropisms have also been known as dog Berry. `ISMs there is another one. I came across that. I'd never read before. But this is the real world so former Texas governor and US Energy Secretary. Rick Perry He. He's famous for the for saying that. Luke's when he couldn't remember something. Oh yeah but also That's not what I was bringing up a on on August. Twenty fifth twenty fourteen. There was an article in the Texas Tribune by John. Reynolds reported that Perry had been speaking to a crowd and at this event he told the crowd quote. We need to look at the states. Which are the lavatories of innovation and Democracy Yeah what what with that. If we were to take that literally wake. What would that mean? I think that's the other thing that part of it too is like even if they're not quite accidentally profound. We can't help a puzzle over it because it will inject a bizarre metaphor mental image into our head and then we're just forced to wrestle with it right now there are also just lots of people making regular everyday speech. We probably do them all the time. Everybody does them one of my favorites. I ran across. Was the idea of all the people who died in the Blue Bonnet plague. Csl that in the notes. And I didn't get it until you said it out loud and that that points out an interesting thing which is there are multiple different ways that people put together Malapropisms Like I was reading a paper. By the linguist Arnold zwicky on classical malapropisms end. Zwicky points out that lots of malapropisms approximations. That come out of our mouth is due to the tip of the tongue effect. This is something we've talked about on stuff to blow your mind before You can go back and find our episode on that if you Google it. I'm sure but the short version is you are failing to call the correct word for memory and by accident. You employ a similar sounding word instead. You can often especially in people who may have been having been alcohol to drink like often words that gets swapped. Start with the same letters or sounds like This databases a vast suppository of information. I guess actually that wouldn't start with the same sound but you know what I mean. Yeah but other times malapropisms have more unique etiologies for example when somebody learns a word or phrase by mishearing yet and then never corrects their original misimpression. I know this has happened multiple times in my life. Blue Bonnet plague would probably be a good example. Here it suggests that somebody heard somebody talking about the bubonic plague but misheard how they pronounced it and then just never got corrected on that. Yeah I think we can all relate to that. We all have examples that in her own life totally But while malapropisms are themselves normal part of speech they go back into the midst of history. Everybody does them and everybody's been doing them for thousands of years probably the name we used for them as a very distinct origin and history and that origin lies with an Irish satirist. Playwright and politician named Richard Brindley Sheridan. Who lived from seventeen? Fifty one to eighteen sixteen. Sheridan wrote a number of successful comedies but his seventeenth seventy-five play called. The rivals introduced the world to a character named Mrs Mala Prop whom another character says is infamous for delivering words quote so ingeniously misapplied without being mispronounced So for example Mrs Mala Prop Kohl's one other character. The very pineapple of politeness and at another point she refers to an allegory lying on the banks of the Nile which we should point out. Gets it wrong twice because the Nile has crocodiles alligators? Oh I didn't even get that one at first allegory alligators okay. I think that joke works better on people who are less obsessed with Crocodilians than So so it seems that most usage of the term malapropism in English actually dates back to this character in a late eighteenth century Irish play maybe all usage of it but of course the name Mrs Malapropism built out of existing words borrowed from other languages like There's the there's this expression mal apropos. Meaning inappropriate originally from the French where it would mean something like out of place or amiss but from the name of this character we now get the label that we use specifically for Malapropisms. Words used wrong in this way and so today we wanted to look at the phenomenon of invented words like the word Malapropism. There are tons of words like this. You know there. There are some words that entered the lexicon from works of fiction or mythology. Their words that enter through deliberate coinage where somebody is trying to create a term for a previously unnamed concept their words that inner through changes in technology and science and culture and we wanted to talk about some of our favorite stories of these words and explore how they differ from other types of words. What does it take to invent a successful word and are there any parallels The invention of a successful piece of technology. Yeah it's a fascinating topic because it's the the world of language it is a world that is invented like all words are essentially invented Well I don't know if I agree with you there because they all do come from human brains but I would say maybe some words could be thought of more like features of the human body than maybe they just emerged from us at some point in history without us trying to find a word for something. That's true the more sort of primal roots of language which will be discussing but but still it's. It's unlike most of the other topics we've done. I don't know if we've done a linguistic episode of invention at halfway. I don't know we say that there are obviously linguistic conventions. All right we're GONNA take a quick break but we'll be right back. The future is closer than you think. Can it all starts in the palm of your hand? You may have heard the news five. G's coming but what does that really mean? How does it impact me in the new iheart series this time tomorrow presented by t mobile for business join hosts AUSE Woloshin and care price as they walk us through a mobile revolution? That will change the way we interact with the world around us from environmental science to law enforcement. Entertainment HEALTHCARE AND TRAVEL INNOVATION IS COMING. Join them as they explore. How this revolution could impact your life and give you new ways to connect and engage this time. Tomorrow is now available on the iheartradio APP. Or wherever you listen to podcasts. What do you think about when you consider the greatest exploration vehicles of all time I would maybe think of the Apollo spacecraft lunar module that sat down in the Sea of tranquility? I might think of the Baathist fear which allowed humans to sink down three thousand feet into the inky black depths off the coast of Bermuda. The Beth's fear is very good choice but it's hard to get your own spacecraft or bathysphere. It's true I've tried you can't and that's why we should consider as an alternative the twenty four to explore completely redesigned and it might just be the greatest exploration vehicle of all time. That's right the twenty twenty four to explore will take you into territory that maybe charted but hardly conquered such as the tangled interstates of Atlanta or la or the winding country. Roads that sprawl between your home and your next vacation destination. Yeah I mean we've all had that experience right where you set off on a road trip and between point A. and point B. Things can get a little tangled. Things can get a little gravelly and it's good to have a dependable vehicle Underneath you at those moments I just recently when I was In New Mexico. This past year took a shortcut or at least in showed up on the maps as a possible shortcut. There was not a recommended. Route certainly through some kind of bumpy ranch. Land that It was it was a great experience exploring through there. But I kind of wish I'd had a vehicle that was better made for it. Yeah I had someone experienced in Arizona as well where suddenly you're on the gravel and it's beautiful but you do feel secure in knowing that you have have equality vehicle underneath you such as the twenty twenty four explorer plus one with with the room with the space the cargo space to haul back the goods if you happen to be just running to the grocery store across your own hometown or you need to grab a few sheep or cattle from the ranch land. Well I guess so. As long as you know you're authorized to do so the all new twenty twenty four explore the greatest exploration vehicle of all time. All right. We're back all right so we'd like to start by asking what came before and I guess in this case we would have to ask. Where do words usually come from when they're not being deliberately coined or invented by somebody? We know that most words are not deliberate inventions Obviously the the deep origins of language. That's a massive and complicated subject Limited in large part to informed speculation since we don't have physical evidence to discover to refer to you know spoken words. Don't leave fossil's And it's too big to address at length today but by studying linguistics within the timeline of history especially with the help of written sources we can learn a lot about how languages change over time and about where words come from and one thing that I think is extremely interesting is that many scholars have noticed important parallels between the evolution of languages and the evolution of species in biology There are important differences as well but just to mention one of these similarities like the living organisms on earth. Many of Earth's languages show signs of having a common ancestor We can show signs of common ancestry and all living things on earth by comparing similarities in the jeans and observing how those genes change over time through evolution likewise we can observe similarities in some words in formations that many languages separated over vast distances seem to share and observe how those pronunciations and semantics change over time and in fact at the kind of strange thing is that it was obvious that languages evolve over time from common ancestors before it was obvious that plants and animals do this Because you know it was obvious because linguists could track these changes through written sources from history. They could see for themselves. How words and usages and whole languages morphed over the centuries. Charles Darwin actually wrote in the descent of man quote the formation of different languages and of distinct species and the proofs that both have been developed through gradual process or curiously parallel. I was reading a good article about this by John. Whitfield and peel. Os Biology from two thousand eight called across the curious parallel of language in species evolution and So whitfield's writing about this subject in In addition to common ancestry and changes to words jeans over time another parallel that Whitfield points out. Is that quote? Their most important components showed the least variation in biology. This means that genes such as those involved in the machinery of protein synthesis so basically something every organism has to do all the time change so slowly that they can be used to discern the relationships of groups that diverged hundreds of millions of years ago likewise the most commonly used words such as numbers and pronouns changed the most slowly. Yeah I thought that was really interesting. I mean other words you can find other words that seemed to persist in fairly stable forms over long periods of time and they very often are common words. You know words like for family relationships words for things like mother and father and for You know things that would be referred to very often in everyday speech whereas it's the more specific terms that may go extinct over time right or face dramatic substations So today more than half of the world's population speaks a language that shares as a common ancestor and extinct. Language called Indo European One Fun example. I was reading about In a nautilus article from last year by seven Jetta Nurtiyas. Ova was about the word honey so of course the word honey is honey in English in Sanskrit. It's in Russian. It's meal and bring it back to English. We have made alcoholic drink made out of honey in Sanskrit Russian and even an English. You've got these links that you know. Words are still basically very similar right right. Another interesting fact from that article A professor of linguistics at New York University named Gregory Guy Talks about the word locks which English of course means you know smoked salmon. You'd have your Bagel with locks but apparently locks is basically the same word as it was in Proto Indo European eight thousand years ago where it was probably pronounced locks and it meant salmon like eight thousand years ago. It's interesting to both of these. Examples are foods. They're things that are concepts that are for things that we we not only conceive off but we actually take into our body. We have such a complete sensory understanding them. Yeah that's an interesting point to things that would have been delicious from ancient times but anyway based on this Biological Analogy I WANNA use an analogy for the purpose of the rest of this episode which is basically biological evolution versus genetic engineering. Most new words that enter a language do so through a process more akin to biological evolution. They somehow arise naturally among speakers rather than as You know genetically engineered you know we. We created a giant Scorpion as a government weapon. Or you know the great b-movie plot then these genetic engineering projects and those would be more akin to what we're ultimately going to focus on the attempts to create a new word on purpose but let's focus on the biological evolution version. I so when languages evolved naturally what happens at the word toward level. Where do new words come from if nobody is to coin them on purpose? Well of course On our show. We've discussed plenty of times if you're looking to invent something new you can always just steal. Something already. Been invented yeah. Most inventions are stealing ideas from other people. And or maybe making a very slight modification So a very common source of new words is borrowing from existing languages. Yeah this these are also known as loan words and one one fun example of this or at least I find fun. I don't know your your mileage may vary but Your worm is one at all. I'm just kidding. That's great rob year. Worms are an example of this now. It's technically a Catholic. That's spelled sale. Q. E. which is a specialized version of this in which the original word in another language is is. It's not just a matter of taking the say the German word for something and using it it's directly translating literal literally word for word. Other examples of this would be brainwashing or Adam's apple but with earworm it stems from German. Or which have originated with the German OPERETTA composer. Paul Linke but didn't enter the popular lexicon until the early two thousands Prior to all this or Verma's were were insects of the order. Dermot Thira ear wigs probably name because well there's one theory is that they have the their hind wings or kind of your like if you fold them out can look like a human ear but the more likely explanation is that you have this old wives tale about them crawling into human ears laying eggs inside your brain fun which of course becomes part of the idea of what is a song you hear and you can't get out of your head. It is kind of like a small insect that is crawled in through your ear into your brain like those things in wrath of Khan. Yeah exactly but really are weeks. Don't do this now. There's no I think they will from based on the research I was looking at. I think they will. Occasionally you can get one in your ear. I would refer back to our stuff to blow your mind episode which I think will be rerunning soon about insects crawling instead of body. Cavities it happens. It can happen but not not to the degree that wives tales would have you believe and not eggs in the brain right no eggs in the brain. We need another phrase by the way. That's a that's unfortunate phrase because who knows. Our wives really saying this sex terminology. We'll just say old folk beliefs hearsay old starship captain's tale yes so English itself is actually composed of a huge number of words borrowed from other languages in. It's just interesting. Terms like earworm right tons of everyday terminology is descended from words that were borrowed into English. Hundreds of years ago English originally was a West Germanic language and these roots are where we get a lot of the origins of common basic short words. That still exists in English today but of other words in English come from other languages. So here's one that I was just thinking about. What do you call the album black sabbath by the band black Sabbath on which the song black Sabbath appears sounds like a trick question? I think the answer is black Sabbath. It's the eponymous album right choice. Yeah but of course if pomace that's a that's a word taken directly from words in Greek. The Greek loan word in English. It means just to give ones name to In in a way it's funny to try to list words in English borrowed from other languages because it would make more sense really detri- to list the words not borrowed from other languages Descending directly from Germanic roots because the vast majority of English words at this point are borrowed by some estimates borrowed words. Make up about eighty percent or more of the language and some of these words have been borrowed for a very long time many came from languages like French and Latin. Hundreds of years ago the big point of linguistic cross pollination. Here is the Norman Conquest of England in the eleventh century. Where Norman French suddenly became the language of government and the ruling class in England? And so this legacy still exist in English day where you have tons of words having multiple synonyms for the same concept And you have a kind of like every day version of the word that comes from old English and then a more formal or official sounding version of the word that comes from the French so a holdover from a time when both languages had to exist together at the same time in the same heads off the same lips. Yeah and the French derivative ones were generally the ones in power the ones with money in the ones with administrative authority so You get like buy purchase by from the old English purchase from the old French where you've got two dead versus deceased dead from the old English deceased from the old French. We've got a wild from the old English verses savage from the old French but that's a wonderful point about the idea that that eighty percent or more of the language is just words that come from other languages it kinda creates the stone soup sort of scenario English itself. Like what what is there. That is not something that was brought in to bulk up the recipe. Yeah that's a great metaphor but then ultimately I mean it gets complicated because both old English and old French into European languages. Meaning that so while you know. Modern English has all these words that come from the French lineage of language development ultimately both languages are thought to come from this hypothetical language along time ago into European so they split off they form different lineages they formed different words the descended from each other and then at some point in history they crossed and then entered each other. It's kind of like a scenario. Where if you have like two films that come out. And it both essentially retelling of the Odyssey or the retailing's of BEOWULF. Or what have you like? That's that's in the genes of the thing and then one sort of steals from the other I like that So another common source of words ending up in a language is words derived from proper nouns. Something that was once the proper name of a person or a place gets drafted into a common word or phrase an example here would be platonic think of a platonic relationship now. Once this was understood to refer directly to ideas discussed by Plato. You're talking about the philosopher. Plato now platonic does not really necessarily call Plato to mind. It's just an adjective right. It just means like you know a non sexual relationship conic one. Another example would be Bohemian. Bohemia is a place. It's in the modern Czech Republic but now the word Bohemian doesn't suggest anything about that place. Of course we still have examples of Of words that this will have a direct tie to their source. Like say machiavellian. Someone uses of it. I don't know I tend not to find examples of people. Misusing it or using it in a general sense at least yet but you can. Well imagine a future or or usage of Machiavellian that really is completely cut off from the original concepts. There's a good malapropism of Machiavelli knows where where somebody's Blake. That's what Prince Machiavelli said. But I think he wasn't a PRINC- was the prints by Machiavelli. Yes actually just thought of another good proper name to common usage Denham. Din Denham originally is like from a day. Neem it's like from a place. Oh I didn't know that. Yeah Okay Well. Oh well it's honest we're talking about products. I mean there's of course. Champagne is another example. Is a great wins. Officially it's supposed to be tied to the Champagne region but it is often just used generically now just a common now. It means bubbly wine. Yeah Yeah but so another thing that A great source of new words in this sort of natural evolution version is back formation. I love this back. Formation is when a new word is born when a prefix or suffix is removed from an existing word in order to create a new one often because people just assume that these new words already exist because of linguistic cues so people create a new word thinking. It's already a word not it's not one so here's one that. I really like the verb lace as in to use a laser. Okay so this is thinking like all right you have. The Terminator was the Terminator. Do he terminates right. With a laser do lasers the heck stuff. Exactly you've got a fire poker. What do you do with poker you poke? Yeah so you've got a laser. The surgeon has a laser. What do they do with it? They lace the patients. I and this is a word now. People use the verb lace all the time it's a but it is a back formation. The laser is not like the word poker. Laser is actually an acronym standing for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation but because of its similarity to these other nouns with similar spelling that end with E. R. Like Poker. He got back formed into a verb. And of course this example also shows another new way. That words are formed acronyms right. Laser was originally an acronym. Now it's not you know it lasers just a word. People don't capitalize little for periods between the letter is right. It's just a laser. I was reading about another fun back formation. This is the kind of back formation known as a false singular and the example. Here is the English word. P really as impe soup So originally the Middle English word was P.'s P. E. A. S. E. And this would be the noun that worked as a singular or collective like the word corn like the word wheat. So you could have a bowl of peace or you could have a single piece colonel. Well because plural words in modern English end in s sounds people began to assume sometime in the seventeenth century that PS must be the plural word for the singular P and then the word p. was thus created this type of origin again. This is the false singular. A similar thing would happen if people started assuming that the singular of Moose must be mu as opposed to Maecenas or of course Moose another one that I really like how about truncation also known as shortening or clipping. This is when new words created by cutting chunks out of existing words so mayonnaise becomes. Mayo examination becomes exam. Refrigerator becomes fridge. Robot BECOMES BOUGHT APPLICATION BECOMES APP advertisement becomes ad. Yeah we also see stuff like bicycle in bike rhinoceros and rhino or a brother becomes bro or Bra. One of my favorites. Also the one that I think is just so. Humorous is when pizza becomes czar of actual humans. Use this or. It's just like Ninja Turtles. But I like the bus it out for Groans Fr- now and again never paid for pizza. Man Here's another one. Blending existing words pretty straightforward. You take incomplete parts of words and smash them together breakfast and lunch becomes brunch spoon and fork becomes spark podcast itself. We are on a podcast that support man to of ipod and broadcast and some would classify this particular podcast as infotainment which is of course a combination of information and entertainment from Hell. Yeah you see a lot of this place. We see a lot of language. Generation is the business world where you have a new product or a new approach it needs new title and these new car new word for this concept and a great way to create a districts crashed two things together and see how they fit or you not info tae okay. One more natural source of new words. Onomatopoeia this is what we call it when a word is formed by sounding like the thing it's referring to so plink Honk Hiss. The word imitates the sound of the concept and I was trying to think do we form. New ONOMATOPOEIA is. This seems like all the ones I can think of have been around for awhile. Maybe we form them less often than some other types of words but I'm sure we must form new ones every now and then I was trying to think of a good modern example and the one I thought of was I'll ping you about that later. So originally and Onomatopoeia from the nineteenth century this would refer to the sound of a bullet hitting metal or something and Ping Because of conceptual or auditory similarities. It came to refer to things. In the communications fear such as like a sonar communications between submarines or between network computer user. Yeah and I would be surprised. If the modern resurgence of Ping in the business world or in the workplace didn't have something to do with the Ping like notification. Sounds in email and chat APPs. They I was trying to think of some more like some recent ones and I was looking around at some examples of Of sort of modern lingo and perhaps yeat is an example. I'm not sure what does that. What does that imitate the sound of a well? Okay well let me define it. I said okay as the kids will use this term these days. According to my sources on the Internet it seems to be either a strong version of yes or to quote throw something forcefully in a specified direction as in isolated a cup of noodles across the room. Yeah consorted I'm not sure I'm not one hundred percent positive that there's any anything to it like to throw something doesn't necessarily create the sound of Yeat but then when you start like trying to figure out how the sound work in your head you know I can has sort of half formulated case for yeat being an actual sound God. We sound so cool right now. I'll have to keep thinking about that. One think about it the next time you throw something across the room. Okay all right on that note. We're going to take one more break. But when we come back we will dive into some examples of intentionally invented words. Here's the thing saving money with. Geico is almost better than playing pickup basketball. Because there's always that guy who joins your game. He never passes the rock. He constantly bricks threes. And who completely hack you? And then put his hands up and say no foul no foul with GEICO. It's easy to switch and save on car insurance. No need to fake. An ANKLE SPRAIN. Because you're absolutely exhausted. So switch and save with GYCO. It's almost better than sports. Dear Young Rocker is more than just a podcast about music. It's a memoir of how it feels to survive high school when you don't fit in and the freeing feeling of picking up a guitar for the first time it's also advice for anyone who is or was young and his ever felt weird or alone. Whether you're a rocker fan wrote to say I truly wish I could tell a port back. Two thousand can give my younger self. This podcast and write. Your cellulite is just as pockets. Johnny ramones weird face on my wall. Another said thank you for sharing your story and letting my daughter No. She's not alone and that it will be okay. The AV club's pod mass says about do I are this. Podcast exploring relationship between gender rage and the power of music. It was like an honor. Time capsule containing forgotten strain of team. Dear Young Rocker is written and narrated by me. Chelsea Ersan executive produced by Jake Brennan and comes to you from double elvis productions. Listen dear marker on the iheartradio APP apple podcasts. Or wherever you get your podcasts. All right we're back okay. Now we've been looking at ways that words arising language without being intentionally invented when they arise through the process that's more akin to biological evolution. But what about when we WANNA Frankenstein? Some words just like make them in the lab So sort of going back to the business scenario. You've got a new product. The you need to get out there. You're rebranding another one in need. You gotta call it something Well I know somebody who would have been great branding. And that's the English writer. Horace Walpole. Who lived from seventeen seventeen to seventeen ninety seven And the the term that he coined that everybody knows he actually coined quite a few but most of them are forgotten. The one that everybody knows is serendipity and this comes from a letter that Walpole was writing to a friend named Horace Mann different from the American education reformer. I'm pretty sure I think this horse man was a British diplomat But the letter was dated January. Twenty eighth seventeen fifty four. And despite the magical delight of Serendipity as a concept I have to say the occasion by which he ends up describing it is incredibly dull basically Walpole says that. He accidentally discovered a historical link between two families while he was studying their coats of arms in a reference book. Earthshaking right yeah But he's writing about this process and he says quote. This discovery indeed is almost that kind. Which I call serendipity very expressive word which as I have nothing better to tell you I shall endeavor to explain to you you will understand it better by the derivation than the definition. I once read a silly fairytale. Called the three princes of serendipity as their highnesses traveled they were always making discoveries by accidents and suggestions of things which they were. Not In quest of for instance. One of them discovered that a mule blind of the right. I had traveled the same road lately because the grass was eaten only on the left side where it was worse than on the right now. Do you understand. Serendipity one of the most remarkable instances of this accidental suggests for you must observe that. No discovery of thing you're looking for comes under this description was of my. Lord Shaftesbury who happening to dine at Lord. Chancellor Clarendon found out the marriage of the Duke of York and Mrs Hide by the respect with which her mother treated her at table. God Riveting Right Dinner. How he treated her man. It's it's hard to believe the term really took off at all. You know reading this but it's a great term because it really does describe something. The idea of a happy accident the the occurrence or development of events by a thing that was in a way that's beneficial but that was not intended by the agent. Yeah like when you run into an old friend at a subway on a subway ride and you and you think this is exactly like a one idoki grass at one side of the road. I think something at least in the way I use the word. It's especially serendipitous if it's a situation in which you know in the course of trying to do one thing especially if that thing is foolish or misguided you actually accomplish something different and good a true yes. It's like the foolishness of the original errand that makes something especially serendipitous but according to a post that excerpted from this letter in the Paris review the active form of the word serendipitous was not recorded until nineteen forty three so that's a pretty big span of time and I wonder do intentionally invented words take longer on average to find all of their derived parts of speech. I don't know it seems like they have to have a certain amount of sticking power to just like language is a living thing you know So if if you create a word and it doesn't take off you know if it's someone's out they're not making it happen pushing it into the into the lexicon. How does it ever gain a foothold? Well I think about the fact that when a word feels organic. You're more likely to assume that it's derived to different. Parts of speech already exists dry. You're not making them up when you say them right whereas when a word is something that you're aware of as like an intentional recent coinage you might be more likely to think Oh serendipitous. That's not a word. This is also probably the struggling point for. I think then I could be wrong but I don't think a lot of people are using saw as an abbreviation for pizza Just because it's it's it sounds fake doesn't seem helpful okay. So walpole also provides early written evidence for some other terms though not necessarily always of his intentional coinage when I was reading about the Was Great is from an article in the new republic by David Crystal. That's all about terms for drunkenness. In English a lot of these are forgotten okay In this term comes from Walpole the term is mucky bus meaning drunkenly sentimental which is a good thing to have a word for right like you know. I love you man. No I love you man. Marcus sounds a little bit like sake bus too. So it has this kind of like demonic of quality to it as well of the of the will being overpowered. Would you believe that this word comes from a dinner party? So it's an anecdote that Walpole shares in a letter to George Montagu on April twentieth. Seventeen fifty six. Walpole says so. He's at a dinner party. He's having supper he over. Here's somebody named Lady Coventry saying that? If she drank anymore she would become mucky bus and then somebody named Lady Mary Coke Asks What that means in. Coventry says that it was Irish for sentimental crystal writes quote the mock. Latin ending is known from other facetious. Eighteenth Century Slang formations. Such is stinky bus But there is no obvious connection with the Muck Lady. Coventry came from Ireland. The likelihood is that Walpole miss heard a genuine Irish word. Perhaps and here. I'm going to do my best with an Irish word here. Maureen Yuck Which is spelled M. A. o? It H. E. A. C. H. Ireland. Get it together come. Walk the okay. I think it's marine. Yuck and it means sentimental the I should say crystals article also mentions a bunch. Of other terms for drunkenness including my new favorite Not Alone word not a new coinage classic Anglo Saxon Word which is sime Belghoul meaning want and with drink feasting also sounds demonic in nature which is perhaps fitting I went to the black Sabbath and became sime. Belghoul about serendipity though actually got me On the subject of another invented word that. I really like that comes from the American philosopher. Daniel Din it. And it's his concept of a deputy. I think we've talked about this on stuff to blow your mind before But I read about this idea in digits book called intuition pumps and other tools for thinking me. I remember US discussing that. So a deep IDI is a special kind of equivocation. Of course equivocation is A word or phrase that's used in two different ways to misleading effect. So you might say like Why would you read all the arguments for and against dentists theory of consciousness? Isn't there enough arguing in the world right? People people say stuff like this all the time it hinges on two different meanings of the word argument in one sense. An argument is just explaining why you think something's true in another sense it means like angry your acrimonious okay. So so that's an equivocation. Generally at deeply is a specific kind of equivocation You'll probably recognize immediately from your life. It's a statement that can either be interpreted as true an utterly trivial or profound obviously false. Okay Yeah But it but it takes advantage of like the good halves of both of these versions so an example would be if somebody says. Love is just a word so either. You're talking about the word love. In which case the statement is true but it is a banal truism in doesn't okay so what yes. The word love is a word. Or you're saying that the feeling of love is itself nothing more than a word in which case the statement is stupid and nobody would bother paying any attention to you. There was Want to say Umberto Eco. Wrote something about or I can't remember if he wrote it or quoted about some some some treatment on the on the rose saying like the first person to make the statement was quite possibly genius in the second person to make. It was an idiot. Oh was he talking about nominalism? Though with William of Autumn in the name of the likely so but yeah it was it was from. I WanNa say it was from the introduction or the The afterward to the name of the rose but it's been washed. I've read that. Well I mean I guess another thing that's true is like with any statement even and obviously stupid one with enough effort. You can find something that that might be true about it right away of interpreting it or if the the actor reciting the line is skilled enough. It can seem a lot more profound than it is and you can be like. Oh Man Yeah. Love is just a word. Just heard Benedict cumberbatch. Say it hardcore right. It's totally different. Brian Cox could say and then they'll be like oh he's right but if it's the actor who plays. Badger on breaking bad different story entirely right in fact that love is just a word is a great example. Because you can make tons of deep unease with the ex's just a y formulation. Lots of them are like this one example that we thankfully here a lot less of than we used to like ten years ago. This was everywhere. You looked evolution is just a theory over the sun so hinges on two different understandings of the word theory. One interpretation of the sentence is true but trivial. Another interpretation of the sentence. Where theory means something like unfounded. Speculation would up end all of modern biology if it were true but is patently false. Yeah Yeah I it does. That statement does tend to hinge on misunderstanding of what theories are and what role they play in our understanding of the world. Other things are not quite as obvious as deputy field vaguely. Deputy Ish one that I was One that I came across. His beauty is only skin deep. Like in one sense. This could be saying. Physical beauty is only physical which is true but not very profound or it could be saying. Beauty has nothing to do with transcendent qualities like morality or character. In which case is that true like? Don't we often find things beautiful? Because they're morally good or thoughtful or meaningful. Yeah depending on how you interpret. It could mean one of to destroy medically different ideas and the sense in which it is. Obviously true doesn't really mean anything. Yeah I noticed in the real world deeply is often shoot by you real fast. They tend to be the kind of thing that somebody doesn't just say leave hanging but they say and then move on from talking very quickly like they can sound good for half a second if you don't stop to think about them but I was also thinking about deeply is interesting because there's something about the way the word sounds that was clearly part of the selection process for attaching this word to this concept like Originally didn't it says that the word was coined by a daughter of a friend of his or her name is Miriam wisn bomb and originally she had been at the dinner table. Sort of like Lightly mocking her father for some kind of kind of overly ponderous thing he said and then didn't heard this word from her and then reimagined it because of the the sound of the word fit so well with the concept that he wanted a word for And it brings to mind the concept of idiot phones which we exploited on an episode of your mind. Basically the idea that certain Syllables and words sounds in our in. Our minds are naturally widely associated with with concepts such as physical textures. Like there are words. That naturally sound slimy to us or have certain kind of moral connotations to us. That are just like totally apart. From semantic meaning right. Yeah you often see this in the the names of fictitious characters part of this is we've been on a Harry Potter kick at the House and so a lot of the the names. The Jackie Rolling uses. You know I feel like they. They line up with this rather well. You know like a snake you know just it. It drips I it. It feels and sounds like the it is it his slithering yeah slithering itself exactly. Yeah but I mean it. There is something going on here. I think if you're not building a neoliberalism entirely out of root words that have semantic meanings thing to go with like malapropism where that's built out of root words from another language that have some kind of meaning already. You wouldn't be able to tell what DP means just by looking at the word right right. It doesn't doesn't have a semantic suggestion unless you've heard it explained to you or hurt it. Used so to what extent does possible IDIA PHONIC RESIDUE? Guide the choice of words being linked to concepts like that. I mean thinking about it in my head. Idi deep not the IDI part of it somehow. Sounds like the concept to me what brings to mine itty bitty it brings a month's smallness so it's like a small small depth but it like that's kind of a stretch. It's not there's no. You can't really get there by analyzing Actual Grammar Right Right. Because any bitty bitty even in Webster's I don't know it's very much sling itsy-bitsy. I'm not even sure where that comes from itty-bitty I don't know yeah. Deeply just in terms of in examples of have invented terminology This is what I was thinking about recently. Oh that's great because when you when you hear it. I mean it's composed out of out of the Greek so you. It's easy to assume that this has been a very long time but it is more like Malapropism in that it's built out of routes that do have meanings that you could identify. Yes because clearly. It's drawing from the popular use of say astronaut which means starsailor cosmonaut universe sailor. And of course you have the the argonauts Greek myth were simply sailors in the vessel Argo but psychot- when I was looking into it I was thinking okay. This term must have been around during the sixties and it apparently wasn't the term is widely used now but it didn't seem to emerge until German author Ernst younger used it in one thousand nine in one thousand nine hundred seventy and it was subsequently picked up by various occultist and ethnobotanist. And now it's become you know. Sort of a standard and really quite useful term for describing various twentieth or twenty first century individuals. Like say John C Lilly or Terence McKenna people who were explorers in the realm of the mind? Yeah Yeah but also to get also drawing in that sort of astronaut Motif of one of one who goes out by going in and then Joe. I know you want to discuss the Fatima user. This comes. This is one of our favorites. It's come up on stuff to blow your mind a lot So the demise are is something that was coined as a joke in Gary Larson. Cartoon it refers to the arrangement of spikes on the tail of a Stegosaurus And it So there's Gary Larson. Far Side cartoon where a caveman is apparently teaching a class and it's pointing to a picture like a slide projector slide of one of these things and says now this end is called the Ghimire after the late. Fags Simmons which is wonderful. Yeah so so. This was eventually picked up by actual paleontologists who found this hilarious because prior to this he didn't have a name for the spike. Tao's just the spiked tail of a stegosaurus. Or some other type of Stegosaur and when you when you start breaking down how Vaga miser would even work as a word in crazy because okay we have thad fags. The name of the Caveman victim of dinosaur proper noun there right and but then we come to a miser. Oem Is Er and this is just nonsense because yes you do have some English words. That end with arm eiser. But their words like randomize her economisers customized atomised and these all our root words that themselves Indian arm like Adam and then we get atomised there. So where does the arm come from in Tagum Eiser? The eiser part makes more sense. Because I guess it's Kinda like with tenderizer that brings us. Dumb is so if you allow us to further Entomologists here okay. It is just an old suffix long-established suffix that The turns That allows us to make a noun or adjective into a verb. And then this can in turn be made into a noun so I just Anthologized I am the etymology which is not a real word but could be okay extrapolate into and you could follow the trails back to real words faggot miser. If we are stretching would at best mean a thing that turns one into FAG. Symon makes no sense and yet at the same time. The joke still works like clearly a work it was picked up it because an unofficial name for this part of the dinosaur official now. Is it official? Oh Yeah I mean. I think it's used in scientific publications. Yeah well sounds good enough to me so clearly. It works when we hear it even though it doesn't when you dissect it linguistically it's just nonsense but but we buy into it. I guess fabulous perhaps atomised or tinder rise by the spiked tail. And you know that is weirdly relayed in the term Vega miser even though it's kind of a distorted echo of actual language. Unfortunately I think we're GONNA have to call it here for today. We're we're running out of studio time. Yeah no yeah but yeah we We will be back with part two of our series on invented words here. I'm having a lot of fun. Yeah yeah this is This is a fun one. I liked this journey's going because eventually we can even get into the realm of invented language in the meantime if you want to check out other episodes of invention find us wherever you find podcast wherever that happens to be. We're there we're somewhere in there. If you go to envision pod dot com that will shoot over to the IHEART listing for the show but you will find us all over the place where ever you get the show. Just make sure you subscribe you rate and review huge. Thanks as always to our excellent audio producer. Seth Nicholas Johnson. If you would like to get in touch with us with feedback on this episode or any other suggested topic for the future just to say hello you can email us at contact at invention pod dot com. Invention is production iheartradio for more podcasts. From IHEART radio is iheartradio APP apple podcast or wherever you listen to your favorite shows dear. Young rocker is more than just a podcast about music. It's a memoir how it feels to survive highschool you don't fit in and the freeing feeling of picking up the tar for the first time it's also advice for anyone who is for was young and his ever felt weird or alone dear. 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