Ever wonder how we have the language we use today? How did we get some of our words and phrases? Who gets to decide whether or not a term becomes a word? And where did our language begin? While the beginning of our language goes back much further than this post, modern examples of changes in our terminology is present each and every day, and a prime example of just how our language came to be.
Take into consideration all the recent words we’ve created recently because of the changes in society. These are words that years ago would have no meaning because the words were created because of an action that is new. For example, twenty years ago, before Facebook and twitter became a fad, the words “defriend” and “tweet” would have no meaning or significance, except for tweet which would only be understood as the sound a bird makes. But defriend was created using the prefix de- to mean down or off, to signify taking a friend off your list of companions on Facebook. Further, “social media” is now an actual term, social coming from the Latin socius combined with old French to mean relating to society and media a backformation of medium meaning material. Thus our obsession with social media is literally an obsession with materials of society. And while these are the breakdowns of just a few of our new words, it goes to show you how just combining prefixes and suffixes to preexisting words, creates a whole new meaning.
Other new words created simply by someone deciding it should be a word are “bromance,” introduced as a way to describe two males whom have a non sexual relationship because guy friends simply was not as catchy, ”chillax” to say calm down and relax a way to be redundant without being as rude, “buzzkill” meaning a person who ruins the party, and my favorite, “matchy-matchy” to refer to someone who simply matches too much. Each one is prompted by a new need, the necessity for a word that describes something we do. There are many other words that we create that provide new and interesting ways to present our thoughts, but one of the most curious thoughts in regards to this is if language catches and spreads, could you be the one to create the next innovative word?
All words used found here.