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If someone makes up a word, is it considered bad grammar, or bad spelling, or something else?

The word and phrase I have in mind is "housecolding party", but this is a general question.

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P.S. should it be 'housecolding' or 'housecooling'? I feel weird questioning the grammaticality of a made-up word. –  John Jun 8 '12 at 22:03
    
Housecolding (or housecooling -- which I prefer) sounds like a great neologism. As far as I'm concerned, you can make up and spell whatever you want! –  JAM Jun 8 '12 at 22:04
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Making up words is how languages evolve in the first place. Your entire post is comprised of made-up words, in point of fact. –  RegDwigнt Jun 8 '12 at 22:06
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In fact I have to close the question in its current form as it's rather unclear. For starters, considered by whom? And what kind of made up words? House-colding obeys the rules of English morphology and spelling. Haus-coldovy would obey neither. –  RegDwigнt Jun 8 '12 at 22:12
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Ah, I see, sorry for the bogus question. Maybe this was a better thing to ask in chat. In any case, thanks for all the input everyone! The reason I asked is because I'm putting the word on a party invitation, and too many of my friends are grammar hounds. PS I ended up going with housecooling after all. –  John Jun 8 '12 at 22:32
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closed as not a real question by RegDwigнt Jun 8 '12 at 22:12

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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

So long as your meaning is clear, ain't nothin' wrong with neologisms.

Especially, as in your example, in the case of a clearly understood portmanteau that plays on the antonym of an already established word, there's nothing wrong with it. In formal writing, (or in any other context where you can't be certain of your audiences ability to decipher your new term), you may wish to define it, both as a matter of style and of courtesy, but the practice is in no way inherently problematic.

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I dunno. Wasn’t coining once pun-ishible by death? :) –  tchrist Jun 8 '12 at 23:49
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