Thirteen Ideas We Need Words For

1. verb. Treating a verifiable fact as a philosophical opinion. (Evolution, heliocentrism, tax rates, etc.)

2. adjective. An idea which is neither fringe nor mainstream; a plausible idea without sufficient refuting or corroborating evidence.

3. noun. The desire to marry outside one’s ethnicity, religion or culture.

4. noun. The talent for attracting resources to oneself, as distinct from talent or charm.

5. noun. The peculiar semi-English used in Indian advertising. India’s version of “Engerish.”

6. noun. Putting a great deal of work into looking less attractive.

7. noun. The inflated price of a good or service from which a predetermined “discount” is expected to be deducted. (Magazines, cars, medical services, etc.)

8. verb. Looking for attractive friends-of-friends on a social networking site.

9. adjective. The quality of a language to sound good rapped.

10. noun. An imagined period of time which doesn’t fit into the known timeline of history. (Nationalist myths, “ancient wisdom,” the 1001 Nights stories, etc.)

11. noun. The ageing character who survives the story despite having little concern about his or her death. (The hostages in the Nausicaa mangas, Terence Stamp’s character in The Limey, etc.)

12. pronoun. A neuter third-person singular.

13. pronoun. A second-person plural distinct from the second-person singular.

You’ll notice that there are no adverbs on the list. We have more than enough adverbs as it is, and compositions are usually improved by their deletion.

Some suggestions for the above:

1. To murdoch? In honor of its greatest worldwide proponent.

2. Borderland? Useful for grain-of-salt publications like “Counterpunch.”

3. No idea. “Exo-” constructs sound too cold.

4. Does this already exist as an off-label use of the word “gravity?”

5. Hindlish? (Hindi + English.) Not entirely accurate, but most Indian culture that reaches the West escapes via (Hindi speaking) Bollywood.

6. Emoing down? More of a term than a word.

7. Bulltag?

8. This usually gets lost under the broader term “Facebook stalking.”

9. Spittable? As in “Korean is not very spittable.”

10. i-time? Ugly, esoteric and hyphenated. Refers to the mathematical concept of i — imaginary numbers which can be visualized as extending to the left and right of the number line.

11. Old soldier? Most stock characters get a term, not a word.

12. Ee? (False root of “he” and “she.”) None of our other pronouns have this problem.

13. Yall? I still flinch when I hear “y’all,” but unless we somehow bring back the third person singular “thou,” it’s our best hope. Perhaps we should drop the apostrophe and make it a proper word.

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