I am sure we can all list words that have outlived their usefulness or are so esoteric as to be practically useless...unwanted words. But, surely there are also situations where the language has failed to develop suitable descriptive words. I once heard it suggested that the distinct line of dirt left on the floor by the inherent failure of a broom and dustpan to do its job efficiently ought to b called remaindirt. I like it! (The word, not the dirt.) In this spirit, I'll offer a new wanted word and hope that y'all got a few to offer too. (Incidentally, a friend of mine invented this one.)
Spog: To struggle through snow that is deep enough to be inconvenient, but not deep enough to stop you.
My late spouse was fond of using "whumphit" as a convenient substitute for ..... whatever ..... As in ...
We were scheduled to attend a certain stage performance and neither of us could remember its starting time. I searched and found the note paper where I had previously written the starting time and yelled, "It starts at seven."
From the other room she said, "Oh, did you find the whumphit?"
"I found the note that I had written earlier," I said.
She must have detected some negative criticism in my response. She said, "We've been married all these years ..... there must be something about me that you like."
<smart-ass> "There is one thing. It's your whumphit."</smart-ass>
I once heard an English programme on BBC radio 4 which told of a schoolboy, criticised for inventing the word UNBORED. The enlightened broadcaster came to the aid of the unfortunate lad, pointing out that there was no English word that was precisely opposite to bored. I don't know one. Any offers?
As I was thinking of words for you, Duncan, I found this funny site. I really like dimp. How many times have I thought some poor shopper was the clerk? Many! Can't say I am petrophobic, though it's probably because our dog is a female. I have had phonesia a few times, though fortunately not too many.
I don't think engaged or gripped adequately express the opposite of bored. Engaged means occupied physically or mentally, whereas bored implies a sense of fed-up or tired as a result of lack of engagement with some problem or task. Gripped is metaphorical and again implies being occupied or interested in a problem. The opposites of these would be disengaged, and ungripped; the latter is not a valid word. Neither give the precise sense. It's rather like chutzpah which did creep into popular usage because there wasn't an exact word in English. So I am all for unbored as the neologism for 2008.
Originally posted by pearce: I don't think engaged or gripped adequately express the opposite of bored. Engaged means occupied physically or mentally, whereas bored implies a sense of fed-up or tired as a result of lack of engagement with some problem or task.
That seems opposite to me.
Originally posted by pearce: ungripped; the latter is not a valid word.
Its meaning is obvious, and it is used. If it's not a word, what is it?
Some older books wherein the word ungripped occurs. (Of course, I can't vouch for the meaning being the same as Lister's.) There are a few affixes in English which are so productive they may be freely used to form new words: two of them are re- and un-.
The problem with coining antonyms for words is that must decide which of the meanings of a word to reverse. For some being bored is suffering from a mental fatigue and to others it means being uninterested. For the true contrarian, the antonym of bored is filled: "John's boredom was quite profound. First he bored holes in the walls of his room and then he filled them with Spackle. Finally he sanded and painted them." How about excited?
Originally posted by zmježd: There are a few affixes in English which are so productive they may be freely used to form new words: two of them are re- and un-.
So true,Z. To get an idea of how common this is, consult my second-favourite dictionary, The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (commonly called OSPD among us Scrabble slaves.) It lists, by my count, 477 "self-explanatory adjectives containing the prefix un" (but only 15 such adverbs).
In regard to re, it lists 510 "self-explanatory verbs containing the prefix re".
Maybe there are more out there that you can think of. If so, you better keep quiet about it, lest millions of Scrabble zombies beat a path to your door!!!!
I've been playing Scrabble on Facebook with Wordmatic. We've been having fun, although I am not so good and she's basically kicking my butt. The application on FB is pretty good, and allows you to take your turn whenever you're online, instead of both needing to be there simultaneously. You can also play with up to 6 players, I believe. Z - care to join us in a game? Anyone else on Facebook yet?
******* "Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. ~Dalai Lama
I've been playing on FB with my daughters, in English and French. I don't know what other languages they support. It may not remain on Facebook for long. The owner of the Scrabble trademark has asked Facebook to remove it.
I've heard that Hasbro is determined to close down the Facebook Scrabble site because of copyright infringement. If it closes (and even if it doesn't) look up www.isc.ro/. Great site. You can play in English, French, Romanian and Dutch.