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Creating New Peoplese Words


            Peoplese incorporates an orderly method of creating new words.  As time goes by, the language will improve.

Creating New Words – General Strategy

            If we are naming a completely new concept (e.g. gravity, electricity, car, train, gene, lazar), we need a completely new word.  This word can be based on anything, but ideally it is based on something:  a word from an ancient language, an adaptation of a story character, whatever.  A new word for a new concept should be one or at most two syllables, so that when prefixes, suffixes, and compounds are added to it, it will not be too long.

             When creating a new word, if the word is not the name of a completely new concept, the first choice is a mid۔dot word, because mid۔dot words are instantly recognizable and do not require memorization.  (Explanation via the "mid۔dot" menu of the Features page.)  Example:  "wristclock" instead of English "watch".  If the word creator (e.g. technical writer, business analyst, scientist, artist) cannot conceive of a mid-dot word to fit the new concept, a good compound word is the natural second choice, because good compound words are relatively easy to remember, and contribute, rather than detract, from the quality of the language.

             Peoplese, as a newborn offspring of English, isn't a beautifully sounding language like French and Brazilian Portuguese,  but neither does it contain harsh sounds.  This situation can gradually be improved upon.  When creating a new word, attention should be paid to it's sound, and a word's sound is not unrelated to its meaning.

Good Compound Words

             Good compound words are good for several reasons, but they all have in common that they are relatively easy to remember.

            Most good compound words are comprised of two words whose meanings, combined, form a meaning that is almost but not quiet intuitive – i.e. it does not quite qualify to be a mid۔dot word.  E.g. babysit, badmouth, bagpipes, bigmouth, bloodbath, breakfast, breakthrough, broadcast, bulldog, bullfight, bullring.  Also:  driftwood, icecream, leftover, lipstick, necktie, nothing, popcorn, password, sandbox, skydive, snowdrift, stockpile, television, toothpick, topsoil, watchdog, waterfall, witchcraft.  The first time you hear these words, you’re not completely certain of their meaning; but, after learning their definitions, you’ll probably remember them.

            Some good compound words are less intuitive but add poignancy to the language, and for that reason are memorable.  E.g. afterglow, aftershock, backlash, backstab, brainstorm, brainwash, breakneck, bonehead, crackpot, cutthroat, diehard, firepower, grandson, heartbreak, henpecked, horsefly, hotdog, ladybug, lamebrain, nightowl, nosedive, pothole, playboy, pigtail, superpower.

            Some good compound words are even less intuitive, but are just as easy to remember. E.g. highrise, heartberry (English “strawberry”).

            Not all good compound words are formed from words which, linked together, convey the meaning of the compound; some contribute to the language by adding color.  E.g. cocktail, daredevil, eavesdrop, frostbite, grapevine, lighthearted, lipservice, loophole, ragtime.

            Some compounds are so old they are worth keeping.  E.g. cupboard, lighthouse.

            A link to the three types of compound words – good, mediocre, poor - is found at the end of this webpage.

Mediocre & Poor Compound Words

             If you need to create a word, but can’t think of a mid-dot or a good compound word, then use a mediocre compound word.  In fact most people who need to create words are experts in fields unrelated to philology – they are electronic wizards, scientists, engineers, architects, and so on.  After they create their mediocre compound word to relay their message, it’s up to people with more language expertise to improve on it.

            Mediocre compound words are not misleading, but they don’t make sense.  Eventually, we want to replace them, and a good speaker or writer will do so if a handy synonym is available:  e.g. “comprehend” can be used instead of “understand”.  Other examples of mediocre compounds are:  background (not ground), commonplace (not a place), strawberry (nothing to do with straw), secondhand (nothing to do with hand, and not necessarily previously used by only one person), makeshift, however, drawback, downtown, notwithstanding, online.

            The worst words are misleading – they confuse, rather than communicate.  Worse then mediocre words, they are poor words, and should be replaced.  A “nightclub” is not a club.  You can “overthrow” a ball, but not a government.  Shouldn’t “overcook” mean “cook all over”, instead of “cook too long”?  “Overjoyed” sounds like a negative – too much joy – rather than it’s opposite meaning.  Good communicators won’t use misleading words.           

New Derivatives of Existing Words

            Any decent-sounding logically seeming derivative of an existing word is acceptable.

            Any decent-sounding prefix or suffix added to any word is allowable.

            Anybody can introduce a new derivative; and if it’s good it will be copied.

Be Linguistically Creative!

             Peoplese is a language by and for all people, so if you hear a word that you can improve all, do so.  In Peoplese the “my way or the highway” grammar tyrants have no control.  Those who are learning Peoplese as a foreign language are in the best position to utilize their fresh perspective and examples from their own languages to enhance Peoplese.  Remember:  in Peoplese, nothing you say or write is "wrong". So whether you’re chatting with a friend or writing an e-mail or a blog or a Facebook profile, speaking in class, writing an article or a book, contributing in a business meeting, or presenting a political speech – unshackle your language inhibitions and try your luck at creative expression.  Your word just may catch on, replacing one not as good, and thereby enhancing the language.              

Adapting Words from a Variety of Languages

Peoplese is based on English, and English, like every language, is limited in its potential for expression.  Peoplese has filled the gap with numerous innovations, e.g. familiar and formal pronouns, but, as an evolving language, there is lots of room for improvement – and a rich source is the world’s many languages.

Peoplese needs words for:

            Putting self-interest above principle (verb), and a person who does this (noun)

            Changing failure into victory when retelling an incident (verb), and a person who does this (noun).

            Any other nifty word in your language that is lacking in English and Peoplese.

(If your language has a unique or colorful word you’d like to add to Peoplese, please fill out our online form.)

Lists of Good, Mediocre, and Poor Compound Words 

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New Words