Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dear Ms/Mr Dictionary Writer

Is it just me or does this Shakespeare look like he needs a cigarette?

After considerable thought, I have decided that life would be better if I was Shakespeare. Sure, there was probably a little more scarlet fever and smallpox in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries than I'd like, and definitely a little less sanitation than I'm into, but what would you give to have created thousands of words, at least 1,700 of which are still in use today?

Since there are many reasons why I will never be Shakespeare, including that he lived and died several centuries before I was even a twinkle in my parents' eyes, and that he had a gargantuan brain while I am, well, a kettle, in my quiet moments I like to think on what small amendments I could make to the rolling stone that is the English language. They are thus, and I humbly submit them to you:

1. 'sea-hice' as a plural of 'sea-horse'. I always find it rather awkward saying 'sea-horses', so many esses. I believe the substitution of 'hice' for 'horses' would allow discussion of herds of sea-horses (sea-hice) to be more easily enunciated. After all, we say 'mice' rather than 'mouses'.

2. When 'so' is used to indicate a great amount of something, it should have an additional 'o'. Thus, to indicate cause and effect it need only have one 'o': "Snow White ate the poisoned apple so that she'd pass out then get a snog from a dashing prince with great hair"; while to indicate a great deal of something, the extra 'o' should be added: "Snow White was soo pissed off that the prince was into that totally hot guy from Silent Witness".

3. 'boilt' as an alternative to 'boiled'. No reason, just sounds funny.

My goal for Monday is to use each of these little enlargements to the English language, and to use them more than once if I can bring up sea-hice twice in one day without sounding like a cream-faced loon. I would be delighted to do my bit to advance any suggested enlargements you have; just say the word.


Mad Cat Lady said...

I hate to recommend books
because people never
hardly ever
like them
Bill Bryson's "Mother Tongue"
(or is it Mothers Tongue?)
and "Shakespear"
were illuminating
and according to them there is no reason why there should not be a boilt - in addition to which I like it and forthwith intend to use it. It suits my needs.

Soooooo right you are :)

(I am a little tipsy - have you been watching lost in austen? OMG! sigh If I had a girl or boy friend they would be getting luck tonight)

the projectivist said...

where are boyfriends when you need em?

i like your new words, Kettle.

i am eating Maltesers and they are soo sickly, but my hand seems to be working of it's own volition.

what is your feeling on the word-

Kettle said...

Maddy I have 'Mother Tongue' on my bookshelf but haven't read it. Shall do forthwith and henceforth (hopefully it's hard-boilt). I haven't got Bryson's 'Shakespeare' but did just buy a cheapy remaindered copy of Peter Ackroyd's biography of the wordy chap. I need to tell my boss tomorrow I don't have time to come to work anymore as there's too much to read.

Have just been watching 'Lost in Austen' too - I loved it. I'm not an Austen-tragic and don't believe in Meg Ryan's fairly tale, rom com world of happily ever after, but I do like a good fiesty gal character and throwing in a nice piece of white-shirted eye candy doesn't do any harm either. What did you think about the changes to the story?

I soo agree with you, Project, re: Maltesers and independently minded hands. There is nought to do but try to distract them with scribbling down new words!

I like 'gotten', primarily because it sounds mighty funny if it slips into the wrong place... "I've gotten the answer!" I think we should make a spirited attempt at bringing it back into every day parlance (even onto menu boards if possible). What's your feeling on the word?

the projectivist said...

a friend and i use it to poke fun at eachother. we like to slip it in to the subject titles of our emails and make eachother laugh with trailer-park speak.
yeah, we're a riot.

squib said...

I'm not sure about sea-hice. It sounds like some kind of watery lice

I soooo agree with number 2

I'm a sucker for period dramas. I liked it too

the projectivist said...

oh oh oh!
i just thought of one.

(when something isn't exactly right)

now let's see it used in a sentence.

"Gee, Mum - these crochet knickers are EXACTEKLY what i wanted for my birthday!"

Kettle said...

'Gotten' is completely trailer park, Ms Project! I have images of Cletus the slack-jawed yokel from 'The Simpsons' using it with Britney-Spears abandon :)

PS, I reckon you should do a post collating your 'gotten' subject lines.

Squib, you make a good point about 'sea-hice' and watery lice; I'd rather an oil slick than sea-hice :(

It looks like 'soooo' is gonna fly, though. Who should we talk to about getting it into the Macquarie?

And nice work on 'exactekly', Project! That's awesomnal; I'll aim to use it tomorrow. I can't wait to get my crochet nickers.

squib said...

You can submit words to Macquarie. I submitted 'shitty liver'(noun) 'shitty livered' (adj) to them a couple of years ago. I don't know whether they ever used it

Kettle said...

Excellent, Squib. I shall follow up the Macquarie. I wonder if they have a FAQ sheet for submitting... a project for tomorrow!