When new words pop up in pop culture, as they do, it never occurs to me to bemoan the state of the English language or the literacy of the current generation. Whether I like a modern coinage or think it’s the worstmanteau ever (surely that one is in the running), my initial response tends to be appropriately learned and eloquent, like “Heck yeah — words!”
The Nobel Committee awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize to Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India today “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”
There are dozens of species of marsupials in North America that we collectively call opossums. More likely, we call them possums, but that’s generally considered colloquial. It seems that possum is more common than opossum, which brings up the question, at what point does popular usage trump specificity?
My favorite word is autumnal, and I must force myself to use it sparingly as the air cools and the trees shake off their green pigment to reveal the bright colors underneath. I like the earthy sound of the word, and I like the youthful images it conjures in my mind.