Sunday, September 07, 2008

Evolution of English

The pastor at my church is notorious for accidentally using non-words during his sermons. Or, to put it another way, he's very adept at constructing new words.

(It all depends on your point-of-view about the evolutionary nature of the English language.)

So today, he came up with the word "correlarities." As in,
noun: Things that tend to be associated with each other.


What's not so obvious is why this word doesn't already exist. It's a pretty useful word, and its construction is consistent with other "real" words. So why not?

Several years ago, I met a student from Germany who just raved about how much he loved the flexibility of English.
"You're free to turn any noun into a verb, and any verb into a noun. You can say something like, 'This book is a real page-turner,' and you know exactly what that expression means. If you wanted to say something like that in German, it would be 14 syllables long!"

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