3

Is there a single word for when you request a single word for some phrase or thought?

Example sentence:

By golly, it's time to make a ____ on EL&U!

Things I've tried:

  • I've searched this site for "single-word request" but I couldn't seem to find anything of interest.

  • SWR is an abbreviation, and other people wouldn't know what it stood for.

  • Singlewordrequest isn't proper English, I believe.

  • 2
    No, there isn't, afaik. I had assumed that's why we call them "single-word-requests" here. On the other hand, if we made up a special word for them, maybe there'd be fewer of them. – John Lawler Apr 22 '18 at 21:36
  • "A" and "single' are modifiers for the item you want which is "word." – Stan Apr 22 '18 at 21:37
  • @Stan: Very clever. But "word" doesn't include the notion of "request". – Cerberus Apr 22 '18 at 21:39
  • 2
    @JohnLawler: Perhaps we should, then. Or split off a special site for single-word requests. – Cerberus Apr 22 '18 at 21:39
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    You know it's called an SWR, silly you. Has been for years. Very much officially so. Not enough for your tastes, eh. That earns you a hammer-wielding Norse god of hallowing, fertility, and oak trees :‑Þ. – RegDwigнt Apr 29 '18 at 3:58
4

I suggest we call such a thing a

monologos n
A single word request that involves the feeling you get when you can't really think of something interesting to ask but you still want to waste people's time anyway.

  • C'est pas mal! And it isn't even impossible Greek. – Cerberus Apr 29 '18 at 2:50
  • Although it does sound more like a single word without a request...(can't ever make an SWRer happy). – Cerberus Apr 29 '18 at 2:50
  • And isn't that an improvement? – Robusto Apr 29 '18 at 2:51
  • Yes, but, as the OP, I could not possibly acknowledge that. I always want something else, something more. – Cerberus Apr 29 '18 at 3:14
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    I'll change my question to be about something else entirely. – Cerberus Apr 29 '18 at 3:16
1

There is the open-form compound word clothes shopping:

Realistically, before embarking on this journey I thought that quitting clothes shopping might help me clear a few bucks from my credit card. - The Sydney Morning Herald

As English is a productive language, consider the variant ‘word shopping’ to be a ‘single’ (open compound) word synonym to single-word-request.

The parallel to clothes shopping includes

  • having a good idea of the context (person / sentence);
  • not necessarily knowing what it would be beforehand; and
  • knowing a good fit upon seeing it

One might extend the analogy to having someone else produce the item, or paying for it (via rep points), but these are incidental.

The sample sentence, as given, doesn’t lend itself immediately to this term, but you might say:

  • It's time to go word shopping at EL&U!

Admittedly, this is a somewhat cheeky answer. If open compound words are to be considered, single-word request already fits the bill. :)

  • Cheeky, cheeky! While the meaning matches my request, as a SWRer I could not possibly use an "open compound"! For it isn't a single word, and that doesn't fit my conception of language. – Cerberus Apr 29 '18 at 14:23

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