Save the Words

Do you wake up late at night because you can’t figure out how to find a way to live where you don’t feel like one of those goldfish? You know… the goldfish that you win in a carnival and it is in a bowl and it is fine for a while, but then one day you look at the fish and it is at the top of the water with his little fish mouth gaping open, constantly struggling for air…

You are probably just tormented by all the dying words taking up all the oxygen in the air. According to The New Science of the Birth and Death of Words from the Wall Street Journal, words are shriveling up and dying all around you. Most of us are too desensitized by the noise and bustle of the world to notice.

Did you know that more than half of our language is dark matter? Words are struggling at a rapid clip not to disappear for ever into this vast pit of non-use. I can hear them screaming. Worse yet, not even new words are safe. Once a word is born, gets about 30-50 years in the sunlight, and then begins its gradual decline into “marginal utility.”

Have you used the word “Roentgenogram” lately? No, of course you haven’t. Because it is DEAD. Thanks to everyone going around saying “X-ray,” roentgenogram is never to be heard from again. I hope you will recognize your part in killing this word. I for one, am going to do my part to prevent these words from slipping off the cliff into oblivion, by providing you with this helpful t-shirt.

logolepsy n. -an obsession with words

It may be too late for “Roentgenogram,” but I think we can all do our part for “logolepsy.”


About lgalaviz
All of this hardly seems necessary.

14 Responses to Save the Words

  1. I like to keep the word anthroponym alive, myself.
    Sure, pseudonyms are great and all but where would we be without anthroponyms?! LOST! NAMELESS! That’s where!
    You can’t have a pseudonym without your base anthroponym! It’s the foundation of identity, also it confuses the hell out of people when I use it 🙂

    Milliner and millinery don’t get used enough anymore either, and not just the words either! More hats, and stuff, people!

  2. Ha! Being Scandinavian I use the word röntgen instead of x-ray all the time! “Have you had a röntgen?” I might ask. But in Swedish of course.

  3. P.S. Does it count if I spell the word connection with an x? Connexion. Ahh. Just like in the good old days..

    • lgalaviz says:

      Actually, the article did mention certain words being phased out due to standardization in spelling. I’m going to start spelling ALL my words with an X. You won’t find any words dying on my watch!

  4. jbrown3079 says:

    I miss big words that I have to look up. I bet William F. Buckley took a lot of them when he left. (notice all the one syllable words in this comment) It may be too late for me, save yourselves.

  5. I found a gigantic WEBSITE ( of words that people don’t use anymore. I think that means they’re up for grabs. I’m taking “glaikery” because it means “foolish conduct” and I found it fitting for me. You can have this one: “insangelous – A very rare word that means ‘to be equal to the angels.'” It’s a VERY RARE WORD. It’s probably worth a lot at the pawnshop, then. Don’t you squander that pawnshop money. We might need it for some glaikous plan someday and then where would we be?

  6. I was recently quite appalled in a class I took on copywriting that they told us to shun using words beyond the grasp of the average 5th grader. I didn’t get to ask if they meant the smartest fifth grader in the class, the dumbest one or just, really and truly, an “average” 5th grader. And then I thought about the fact that I would probably get arrested if every time I wrote something I had to find a fifth grader to read it and then test them on their reading comprehension and are they (the 5th graders) going to lie when I ask if they are an “average” fifth grader or are they going to tell their mothers (and possibly the authorities) about the crazy logoleptic woman who accosted them on the playground who insisted she was only interested in their brains (which, I just realized makes me sound like a zombie who only eats the brains of children and NO ONE wants that).

    Is that show “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader” still on? If so, maybe I could hang around the set and shove manuscripts and correspondence into the hands of the contestants (the fifth graders, not the obviously inferior “adult” contestants who don’t have the sense to not go on TV matching wits with a bunch of smartass kids. Of COURSE they are going to set it up so the kids win… who wants to deal with a bunch of crying kids? Not Jeff Foxworthy, I’m sure….

  7. Edwin Drooooooood says:

    Does logolepsy cause seizures if you see flashing lights?

  8. a says:

    There’s a job opportunity for those English majors (or philosophy majors) who can’t find jobs! Making actual (not just virtual) t-shirts to keep those words alive and selling them to hipsters who “already use those words. Ironically.” It would be a billion dollar industry!

  9. lahikmajoe says:

    I’m so pleased to see you blogging again. Wanted to make snide comments about how long it had been, but then I thought it might make it last even longer.

    Obscure/no-longer-used words? Love them.

    Especially ones that sound naughty when their meaning is quite safe. Those are the best.

  10. Blogdramedy says:

    You are such a balatron! Makes me want to up my balanism intake in the hopes it will rid me of my tendency to be banausic. 🙂

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