20 November 2005

Taking five

There are approximately nine hundred thousand words in the English language. To put this in perspective, Spanish is estimated to have 450,000 words, and French has approximately 100,000. But who cares about the French.

So why do people continuously make up words? Dr. Language has an interesting point of view on estimating the number of words we use, and why that number is so diffucult. We certainly have many ways to express ourselves, whether anyone cares or not. I've noticed, though, that advertising seems to feel we need more, and hence we've got a few words that just annoy me. For example:

Essuvee -- the clever phrase automobile manufacturers used when they decided to advise drivers on the special safety considerations of their vehicles. Rather than say 'this car can roll and kill you' they transform it into a cuddly little animation and teach you about driving a top-heavy gas-guzzling suburban that will, for ninety-eight percent of its owners, never get more off-road than a gravel parking lot.

'Gellin'' -- Ok, so that's not a 'new' word, but it's a new use. And there are only so many words that rhyme with this, and only so many times I can tolerate that commercial.

Smellovision -- one particular chef on the food network started using thise phrase, and now uses the same clever remark in every frickin' episode. And people laugh. It got old a while ago.

Comcastic -- whoever thought of that should just be shot.

But, I guess they do their job.

Back to studying for me -- round two with Pathology tomorrow.


Hannah said...

I'm pleased to report that none of those have yet made it into British English... But what the hell does "comcastic" mean?!

Atalanta said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Atalanta said...

The clip for the commercial is here.

Comcast is the cable company that serves our area with historically awful customer service, inept technical assistance, and a 'who cares?' attitude. I can't wait until they get some competition. :(