If you felt that you needed a word, would you take it upon yourself to create it?
Would you feel like it was a problem, or like it was wrong, to create a word yourself? Or would you feel as if it was too much of a bother to do it and just wait for it to be created? Or would you do it some other way?
Normally, I pick my memory bank for the right vocabulary word that already exists. Words to describe a sound, however, are wide open, in my opinion. Even "gobbledegook" and "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" are in the dictionary, so I rarely (I do mean rarely) find a need to create a new word.
Kevin, you bet your sweet friendiffic tushamodora I would! As rich as the English language is, there are certain ideas which it has not provided for. And as much as I love the French language, I am simply too Norseamorphic to study Francodialectianoosia with a straight face. And so I am forced, at times, to rely on my artistical pencraftmean license to create just the uberperfectorific word or phrase needed. And sure, I might speak such words with a false Franco accent, but this is done in all good jestaroodmentaliticselfmoderation, so no harm done, you can be suremorcertain of!
Since I won a spelling bee with a 28 letter word in the 7th grade, I think that I would keep searching for a word to fit what I needed. Besides, creating one would make me feel like a kid again and I do not like that.
I think it depends on the context. For example, when creating an animal that doesn't exist, it all but demands a unique name. But, if you're creating words to replace words that already exist, you run the risk of alienating the reader. There was an example I used in one of my writing hubs where I said "They were eating doba in the snarg" as a poor substitute for "They were eating bread in the forest". Doing stuff like that is just going to turn off readers who don't want to spend the time translating your work. But, your question pertains to words that do not exist. If that is the case, and no easy equivalent exists, then why not create a new word? Who knows, it might catch on.
If it was all right for William Shakespeare, then I suppose it might be all right for you. But why bother, when English is the richest language in the world. After all, we borrowed so many from other languages, and either manipulated them for our own uses or used them in their original forms. When I say, "manipulated" I am sure that you understand that I didn't actually mean that they were changed by hand. It's the etymology of words that I love - not the entymology of them, as my good friend Steve would have it. That would be too creepy! Ha ha ha.
I make up words because of my interaction with students, When I am looking for something and can't find it, I will say Shazbah-or some other made up words-as far as I know actual words, but it serves as my private expletive and it makes the students laugh.
Plus, I have had students create new words when studying the king of all made up words: Dr. Seuss. Smiles!
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