But suppose you can’t find the perfect word? What then? Well, if you’re as bold and creative as Lewis Carroll, you make one up.
OK, I’ll admit it: I’m not that creative. Still, I confess to having made up a word or two myself. The last one was a month or so ago, in Chapter 16 of The Adventures of Sir Kay:
“She was as lithe as a cat, although her movements had a certain deliberate languidity.”
Languidity is a portmanteau of liquidity and languid. Definitely not as “outgrabe” as Carroll. But unique nonetheless.
SusanH threw down the gauntlet in her comment to my Friday post. “I’m thinking of inventing “virgin words” (per Jana) for laugh, smile, chuckle, snort. I need at least five more!” The thousands of you not in my writers’ group, unless you were psychic, had no idea what she was talking about. So I’ll share.
“Jana” is Jana Moore, a powerful–“brillig,” some might say–young poet in our writers’ group. Last session she shared with us this poem, from which the reference “virgin words” comes:
In addition to sharing Jana with you, I’m also passing along SusanH’s challenge. How about offering her a virgin word for laugh, smile, chuckle, or snort? Or if you’re not into verbs today, how about grumpy, happy, sleepy, or sneezy? I offered lippleup for smile, but I don’t think that’s going to “win.”
All entries will be feted; the best will be praised unduly. Get your entries in today!
ps: in case you missed it, SusanH commented, “Laughing–or lipplingup–at that.” But of course, the correct usage would be, “I’m lippleupping at that.”