Questions about the perceived legitimacy of would-be words.

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27
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3answers
3k views

Regulatory bodies and authoritative dictionaries for English

Some languages have a "regulatory body" issuing recommendations and guidelines regarding the use of that language. For example in the case of Spanish it's the Real Academia Española whose status is ...
0
votes
3answers
829 views

Creating a new word [duplicate]

If you invent a new word, how do you go about getting this recognised as a real word in dictionaries?
14
votes
6answers
17k views

Difference between “commentor” and “commentator”

What is the difference between commentor and commentator? Is commentor or commenter a legitimate English word?
1
vote
3answers
2k views

When does a word become a 'word'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Creating a new word The rule of thumb used to be that when a word hit the Oxford Dictionary, it was considered to be an accepted word - this, however, seems to have ...
4
votes
5answers
6k views

Why is “ain't” not listed in dictionaries?

Google finds 52,000,000 matches for ain't but non-natives simply can't look up this word. Wiktionary isn't helpful. Is it some kind of 'wildcard' for "am/is/are not"?
15
votes
6answers
38k views

Is “funnest” a word?

We seem to be stuck at an impasse on this issue. Is funnest a word or not? If so, does it mean "most fun"?
8
votes
1answer
2k views

UK English: Is “dived” a valid word?

Proofing a manuscript, I found this in the middle of a chase scene: Spotting an opening, I dived into it and was horrified to find it was a dead end. Is “dived” a valid past tense of the verb ...
8
votes
4answers
714 views

Is versionize a real word?

Is the word "versionize" a real word or is it a form of bastardization of English? Additional Info: I came across this word in a software feature tracker. The feature called for something in the ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

How popular is ‘Contrafibularities’ as a day-to-day English word?

I found the phrase “My sincerest contrafibularities, Tim” given to one of the comments to my question about the word, 'Cromulent' in EL&U site. As I was totally unfamiliar with the word, ...
3
votes
6answers
33k views

Are “w/o”, “w/”, “b/c” common abbreviations?

I remember when staying a few months in the US years ago that I saw some people using the abbreviations below. However, I can't exactly remember in which contexts I encountered them, (whether I saw my ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

Is “iff” considered a real word or just an abbreviation?

I wonder if "iff" is considered a real word (as LEO says) or is it just an abbreviation (as in Wiktionary)?
20
votes
4answers
5k views

How popular is the word “cromulent”? If I use this word in conversation with native speakers, doesn’t it look out of place?

In today’s post, “What’s the antonym for recommend?” an answerer answered "I discourage the blue sweater" sounds perfectly cromulent.” As I am utterly unfamiliar with the word, “cromulent,” I looked ...
8
votes
5answers
9k views

Is “administrate” a valid English verb? What's the difference between it and “administer”?

We had an interesting discussion yesterday about the use of administer and administrate. I feel that there is a case for both usages -- sometimes you might administer something, and other times you ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Is “tri-quarterly” a real English word meaning 3 times a year?

Is "tri-quarterly" a real English word meaning 3 times a year? Are there any other words that mean 3 times a year?
45
votes
10answers
26k views

What is wrong with the word “performant”?

I keep getting the red underlining in Word whenever I write the word "performant". Here I intend to refer to something that performs well or better than something else (i.e., it's more performant). ...
11
votes
9answers
26k views

Is “bolded” a word?

Is bolded a word? I just bolded the important text in this sentence.
6
votes
7answers
4k views

Is [Its'] a word? (Note the apostrophe at the end.)

I just had a strange flashback to a conversation I had when I was in high school, with a man who was regarded by many members of a particular online community as having an impressive degree of ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Is 'quantitate' a synonym for 'quantify' or just a misnomer?

I have always used quantify, but have been encountering quantitate more and more in scientific literature. Is quantitate a "valid" verb and a synonym for quantify? Otherwise is there a subtle ...
1
vote
3answers
357 views

What is the plural form of “whitespace”?

I ask this because Firefox suggested that whitespaces is not a valid word; rather it gave me whitespace or white spaces.
27
votes
10answers
99k views

Is “fastly” a correct word?

Slow has the adverb slowly. I tend to use fastly as the adverb for fast. However, it is underlined in most spell checkers I use, which makes me wonder about the existence of this word. Is fastly a ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “adorkable” mean? How popular is this word? To what kind of objects and occasions can I apply “adorkable”?

I happened to find the paperback book titled Adorkable, by Sarra Manning, on the GoodReads site. There is no entry for adorkable in the Cambridge, Oxford or Merriam-Webster dictionaries, or in ...
8
votes
2answers
28k views

Is “imbedded” a valid spelling of the word “embedded”?

I have seen this used on our marketing materials: The technology imbedded in this solution will help improve productivity. I was going to flag it as a spelling error, however Googling provided ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Can 'floccinaucinihilipilification' be considered a real word? [closed]

Can 'floccinaucinihilipilification' still be considered a real word? The only context that I have ever seen it used is as an example of one of the longest words in the English language. Also how ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

If I can say “videos”, can I also say “audios”?

Audio and video seem to me very similar words by usage. I often hear the plural form for video, but is there a plural form for audio? Can I say audios? I've never heard it being used.
9
votes
3answers
7k views

Is “embiggen” considered a formal or slang word?

If my memory serves me correctly, I first encountered the word embiggen a year or so ago. I thought it seemed odd, but in context, the meaning was quite obvious. Since that time I've seen this word ...
7
votes
5answers
21k views

Is funner a word? [duplicate]

I am constantly told "funner" is not a word. Even Google auto corrects. Yet "funner" is used very often in spoken English with people I meet. Is funner a word? If not why? What causes it to not be ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Why isn’t “hermeticity” easily found in the dictionaries?

The word hermeticity as (for the lack of better definition, hence the question) “the quality of being hermetic” (not to be confused with mathematical hermiticity, which is also absent from the general ...
3
votes
3answers
617 views

Is “irritance” not a word?

I thought the word irritance was a word — but it isn’t one according to Google and my dictionary. It sounds correct; what is the word I should use? By irritance I mean something that’s being ...
3
votes
3answers
49k views

Can “casted” be the past tense of “cast”?

'The Hindu,' an Indian daily, reports: Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitely casted his vote at Chimanbhai Patel Institute opposite Karnavati club. Does the verb cast has a form as ...
1
vote
4answers
350 views

Is “inbuilt” a word? Is it alright to use it or should I use “built in”?

I searched and found this: “Built-in” or “In-built”, which says inbuilt is fine. But in a reddit comment, I was told that I should use built in instead of inbuilt. Which is correct? I am using the ...
1
vote
2answers
870 views

Is “revelationary” a word in the English language? [closed]

Is "revelationary" a word in the English language?. If it isn't a word in proper English, then which word, if any, can be used for something that leads to a revelation?
10
votes
6answers
21k views

“Smooths” versus “Smoothes”

I am interested in the rapid rise (since about 1993) in frequency of the spelling smoothes as against smooths. An Ngram Viewer graph tracking the frequency of usage of the two words from 1800 to ...
7
votes
3answers
314 views

Is ‘USAers’ just an ordinary English word today?

I saw the word, ‘USAers’ in the lead copy of Reuter’s news titled ‘Gippered’ in Time magazine (September 6), which says: “More than 1/3 of USAers say they are worse off under Bam. Warning-sign ...
6
votes
4answers
677 views

Is “Thisness” an established English word? What is the alternative expression that sounds more natural and familiar?

I came across an unfamiliar word to me, thisness in the following sentence of New Yorker magazine’s (April 19) article titled, What We’re Reading: Buzzfeed, “Pulphead,” Chekhov, and More” James ...
6
votes
4answers
39k views

What is the correct word to use instead of else’s?

If I am trying to say “That problem that belongs to someone else,” then what is the correct word to use in this sentence: That is someone else’s problem. My spell checker says else’s and elses ...
5
votes
2answers
452 views

Is ‘Bash-a-thon’ a received English phrase or just a combination of words?

I saw the word ‘Bash-a-thon’ in the headline of the Time magazine article (August 3) - ‘Palin Joins in Romney Bash-a-thon’ followed by the lead coy: “In an interview with Hannity, Palin takes Romney ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there the word, “Fortunity”? If there is, what does it mean?

I "think" I clearly heard the word, “Fortunity” in the following statement of the Wall Street Journal Report of this week (November 5th), introducing the unique service of Sanchez Delta Airline via ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is ‘Yes-ish’ a perfect alternative to Yes, or is it 'Yes ‘on condition’? Is it received English?

I found a word ‘Yes-ish’ in the answer (from PLL) to my question about the meaning of ‘Stuck to the script’ I posted today. As it is quite new to my ear, I consulted with Wikipedia before logging out ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

Is “anecdotally” a proper adverb?

And if yes, is it common or rather odd? Example sentence: Anecdotally, we do see instances of customers buying both our products at the same store. The Chrome spellchecker doesn't seem to ...
2
votes
1answer
18k views

Is there a one-word English term for the day after tomorrow? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How obsolete is the word “overmorrow”? Is there a one-word English term for the day after tomorrow? Perhaps a term that has fallen out of modern English ...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

Is 'disabilitated' a real word?

I think not, but look on this Wikipedia link about parental leave in different countries, scroll down to the large table and look under Romania. I don't think this is a real word, I tried doing an ...
1
vote
3answers
92 views

Is it “re-offend” or “reoffend”? [closed]

I want to know whether there is a hyphen in the word re-offend, or if it is spelt reoffend. I looked in Oxford English dictionary and the word "reoffend" appears, but then I checked Merriam-Webster ...
1
vote
1answer
284 views

Is 'acronymise/ze' a word? Is it used only colloquially, if at all?

I just sent a text to a friend, who didn't understand an acronym I used for a game: "Ah, I said it in a previous text so thought it was ok to abbreviate it." Though, since it was an acronym I ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Cheersing vs cheering [closed]

I have come across the word "cheersing", with an "s", as opposed to what I believe to be the correct form: cheering. I think it comes from a misguided verbification of the exclamation "cheers!", as ...
0
votes
1answer
327 views

“Umbrella” as a verb? [duplicate]

One of the meanings of umbrella is a term for other things. So, is it possible (yet) to use umbrella as a verb? To umbrella something? Perhaps an umbrella'd issue? I saw someone used "umbrellered" ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Opposite of subpar… superpar?

If something can be "on par", and "subpar", can something be described as "superpar"? Is there an accepted way to describe something as extraordinary with this term?
-1
votes
1answer
64 views

Is “Universityhood” a valid English word? [closed]

This is a theme during the foundation day of a college, "Nurturing Elders' Legacy and Aspiring for Excellent Quest as a Keystone into University". Isn't it universityhood instead of just university? ...
-2
votes
3answers
153 views

What is the meaning of unhighlight [closed]

What does the word "unhighlight" mean? Alternately, is it even a word? What would be its usage? I can't find it in my dictionary or on the internet. I am using it in the context of if you highlight ...