what makes a word a word - and who decides

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Re: what makes a word a word - and who decides

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:34 am

There are plenty of non-word strings, many cwm-based, at the 'twisted definitions' thread (eg http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/viewto ... t&start=30 ) - I wouldn't know if they're all worth pseudoword status.
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Re: what makes a word a word - and who decides

Post by Wizard of Oz » Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:45 am

.. Ed none of the words at your link would be used as pseudowords because the /cwm/ at the front is not an accepted letter string in english .. yes I realise that it may be useful as a scrabble word and an aren't-I-clever word, but it is actually a Welsh word that has been taken into the English language .. if shown to the man on the Bondi bus they would stare in blank amusement at your request to pronounce it .. a pseudoword must be both recognisable and pronounceable as an English word ..

pseudo-WoZ
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Re: what makes a word a word - and who decides

Post by tony h » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:05 am

Wizard of Oz wrote:.. Ed none of the words at your link would be used as pseudowords because the /cwm/ at the front is not an accepted letter string in english .. yes I realise that it may be useful as a scrabble word and an aren't-I-clever word, but it is actually a Welsh word that has been taken into the English language .. if shown to the man on the Bondi bus they would stare in blank amusement at your request to pronounce it .. a pseudoword must be both recognisable and pronounceable as an English word ..

pseudo-WoZ
WoZ I understand your sentiment but I not sure I can agree. English is full of imported words and the amusement that one can have at people mispronouncing standard English words is well known. A brief check of several dictionaries (the paper sort) shows cwm appearing in dictionaries back to the forties which is where this set of dictionaries ends.
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Re: what makes a word a word - and who decides

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:49 am

Fair dincwm.
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Re: what makes a word a word - and who decides

Post by Wizard of Oz » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:37 am

.. tony what I am saying is that pseudowords are used in assessment tasks and research tasks to look at the deep understanding of english .. therefore not every letter string is acceptable .. when composing pseudowords to be used for a particular task it is necessary to avoid letter strings that could be misleading in how they can be pronounced .. for instance one doesn't want to be in the ghoti spells fish situation .. examples could be frodding, grif, pum .. fough would not be used due to the many ways that /ough/ can be pronounced in english ..

WoZ the pum frodder
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Re: what makes a word a word - and who decides

Post by nikkimerrill » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:10 am

"Is it in the dictionary?" is a formulation suggesting that there is a single lexical authority: "The Dictionary." As the British academic Rosamund Moon has commented, "The dictionary most cited in such cases is the UAD: the Unidentified Authorizing Dictionary, usually referred to as 'the dictionary,' but very occasionally as 'my dictionary.'"
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Re: what makes a word a word - and who decides

Post by Bobinwales » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:27 am

I am afraid "Is it in the dictionary" doesn't quite work.

Take the word 'cwtch'. It is in the Oxford Dictionary giving both meanings, a confined space and a cuddle.

The Welsh word from which it originates is 'cwtsh'. Cwtch is a Wenglish word... South Wales English dialect. So here we have a word, ostensibly Welsh, which appears in an English dictionary but not in every Welsh.

The simplest definition of a word must surely be that given right in the beginning of the thread, a sound or group of sounds that are recognised by a group of people.

Is WoZ a word? Yes it is because we know that it is "David from Australia", is it in the dictionary? I wouldn't have thought so!
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

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