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Words are fascinating ... Put them together in the right way, and we can communicate with people in other places and other times. Make a mess of it and ...

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Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Missing words in English

What a nightmare it must be for teachers these days when they're trying to teach correct spelling to children busily sending profound messages to each other, such as: cu b4 u ce me

Sigh ...

And some of this shorthand is just plain silly.

I can see the point (sort of) for the abbreviations above: 'cu b4 u c me' is marginally quicker than typing 'see you before you see me,' and it is possible to work out the meaning from the phonetics. But other text abbreviations are mind-blowingly useless.

F'r instance, IANADBIPOOTV is short for I Am Not A Doctor But I Play One On TV.

Granted, it's definitely shorter ... but exactly why do we need a shorthand expression for that?

Despite having hundreds of TMTs (text message thingies) we don't yet have a word for them. Maybe I've just coined a new acronym!

We seem to be coming across quite a few gaps in English these days. After writing about this a couple of weeks ago , member of our Merry Band, Nick Skellon, commented, "Firstly, how are we supposed to describe our children when they've grown up? When people ask me if I have any children and I reply 'yes'' they somehow imagine them to be 12 or 14. When I tell them that they're 24 and 26, they're surprised. So how about a word for 'grown-up kids'?

"Secondly, we really need a word for something in between 'like' and 'love'. If you say you like someone it puts them on a par with your mates and your favourite dessert. But love is just too over-the-top to be used in anything but very special circumstances. How do you say you really like someone?

So? Does anyone have any suggestions for these missing words?
We're looking for three words here:

1.a word for TMTs

2. a word for grown-up children

3. a word that's between 'like' and 'love'

And a couple we've been pondering for some time:

4. a collective word for aunts and uncles (we have mother, father, parent, but not aunt, uncle ... ?)

5. a separate word for our female cousins and our male cousins (fuzzins and muzzins is taking longer to catch on than I imagined!)

6. a word for our Significant Other when not married and in Our Prime. 'Girlfriend' and 'boyfriend' simply doesn't cut the mustard when describing someone who's a grandparent, while 'lover' is just too much information!

Click the Comment button to add your suggestions!

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Blogger DukTape said...

For grown-up kids, how about grids? And for your SO when you're adults, what's wrong with sweetheart? It's nice and old-fashioned. DOn't really need a new word when an old one will do. That's what I said before I married mine.

Fri. Jan. 15, 09:06:00 am AEST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like and Love are two Settings
I like you
I find you pleasing
I look up to you
I am inspired by you
I would like to get to know you better
I lust after you
I'm Learning from you
I think we are similar
I find you interesting
I think we could be friends
I find your company pleasant
I think you are very nice
I enjoy being with you
I have a place in my heart for you
I am fond of you

Fri. Jan. 15, 11:02:00 pm AEST  
Anonymous Mary said...

When I was young the way we referred to that stage in between like and love was 'in like'. Saying "I'm in like with him/her" means that you are attracted to someone, want to date them but it's not love.

Sat. Jan. 16, 12:29:00 am AEST  
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