John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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While I'm Wishing Happy Birthdays...

Happy 250th birthday, W. A. Mozart! For your present, here's Today's Forgotten English!

Apparently a blend of expunge and impugn.
--Louise Pound's Second Word List from Nebraska, c. 1916

Birthday of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898), better known as Lewis Carroll. Besides being the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, he might have been the first to intentionally produce a "portmanteau word," two words interwoven to make one. In Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (1871), he coined chortle, the enduring blend of chuckle and snort. Since then, many portmanteau words have turned up, particularly in America, such as infanticipate (to anticipate a baby's birth), coined by the gossip columnist Walter Winchell. Others from the early decades of the twentieth century include: snitzy, from snazzy and ritzy; frateriority, a college organization with both male and female members; Broadwayfarer, a New York City hustler; scandiculous, a mix of scandalous and ridiculous; strangeography, writing about unusual places; and solemncholy, from solemn and melancholy. Today this whimsical form is common, especially in advertising and newspaper jargon -- drawing inspiration from terms such as adverteaser, which as long as eighty years ago meant an ad that aroused curiosity by withholding information.

So today we're going to have white rabbits with magic flutes handing out tasty, tasty biscuits, is that it?

-The Gneech

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