articulate - adjective
1. having parts connected by joints, as in "articulated"
2. made up of distinct words joined together in such a way as to convey meaning
3. able to express oneself clearly and distinctly
4. well formulated, clearly presented

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Some things never change on this earth.
  • What goes up must come down.
  • Matter is never created nor destroyed.
  • Heat always rises; cold settles.
  • The amount of time it takes to go through the checkout line is inversely proportional to the amount of time you have to get to the next appointment.
  • Any obstacle between a dog and shortbread cookies will be overcome. (By our dog, anyway!)
We can count on these things. They're dependable. Reliable. Laws of nature that never vary.

But other things are more fluid, often catching us by surprise with marvelous variety.
  • The weather, for instance.
  • Colorful hues and shadows cast by a sunset.
  • Fleeting expressions on the face of a friend.
  • A teenager's reasons for why they MUST do something. Or for why they should not have to!
  • And words. Especially words.
The incredible diversity of the English language often amuses, amazes, and challenges me. New words sneak into our language as people invent them, and within mere weeks, it seems, they transition from slang to common use to proper. Sometimes we don't even notice the change, while other times we balk. I remember my dad complaining about the growing trend among newscasters to refer to a possible "scenario," a word which didn't become a common option until the 60's. "Snuck," a word commonly heard among informal conversations, is still not usually accepted as proper, yet I see it in published books and articles quite often. I wonder how soon other non-words -- such as "irregardless" -- will become acceptable.  I hope that one never will! But the language is constantly changing, and if we can flex with the changes, it can be fun.

Yesterday, my daughter and I spent several lovely hours sitting in a Tim Horton's coffee shop in Erie, PA, working through some plot challenges in two current works-in-progress. As our brains scrambled for creative solutions, new word combinations often popped out of our mouths, surprising us both into fits of smothered giggling until we actually created a small commotion. We found some of our new inventions to be rather ingenious, though. 

For instance, what would YOU call something integral to a schematic? 

What else, but integratic?

And if something is epically economic, of course it would be epinomic, wouldn't it?

We had a good time increasing our vocabulage. 

As I was trying to pull my 16yo son, Tim, out of his early-morning fog today, he commented on my ma'amliness. My what?? It caught me by surprise and made me laugh out loud. But why can't ma'amliness be a word? It fit very well in the context. 

And my daughter-in-law, Erin, was telling me about a recipe for a spaghetti-lasagna kind of dish. Spaghagna? Laghetti? :)

Okay, I may be a little weird, but these things make me laugh!

How about you? What new words have you and your family coined? Does the changeableness of our language frustrate you or fascinate you?