Join TSR now to have your say on this topicSign up now

Who invented words and their meanings? And why? Watch

    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Multitalented me)
    I've always been quite interested in this as well? :holmes: I mean if they do develop over time then could I make up a new word & give it my own meaning myself? Could it spread worldwide?
    I believe new words get "ratified" every so often, occasionally they get a story in the paper as to the new "official" words, I think for the UK it is the Oxford English Dictionary and the word has to have acquired widespread usage/adoption prior to its elevation.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DJKL)
    I believe new words get "ratified" every so often, occasionally they get a story in the paper as to the new "official" words, I think for the UK it is the Oxford English Dictionary and the word has to have acquired widespread usage/adoption prior to its elevation.
    Ah alright, thanks for informing me
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DJKL)
    Appreciate what you say re inherent bias by prior knowledge.

    What you will then have to do is a blind test. Get a population of subjects to listen to words from a language they do not know, so the word meaning has no resonance, then ask them to grade the words from cheerful to sombre, using a scale, on a sound basis only. Then compare their answers with actual meaning to see if there is a correlation.

    No doubt been done, but if not an interesting project.
    That would be interesting.

    I saw once someone got (English) people to assign one of two shapes to one of two made up words. A ridiculously high amount (I think it might even of been all of them?) assigned the word 'Kakka' to a spiky shape and 'Bubuo' to the shape that was sort of cloud shaped. Interesting stuff (Disclaimer: I did this from memory so the words may be spelled wrong XD).

    I love this thread
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DeceitfulDove)
    Eeek I've forgotten the name of the book! But someone did this and wrote a book about it. There was also a book called Frindle in the 90s that was fictional but about children assigning things new names and them catching on.
    There is some instances of this in "The Book of Dave", Will Self. You also have instances of course in 1984. There is another book in the back of my mind but memory not so hot these days, will probably remember circa 10.00 p.m.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DJKL)
    Yes, but surely we want literature to be more than mere imparting of information, we want a richness of language, of description. The danger of abbreviation is that it can reduce the depth of the writing.

    Modern communication can make a good book, there is one called E which is a serious of e mails which I quite enjoyed,, however I would not like everything I read for pleasure to be truncated.
    Yes but history has shown time and time again that what we want doesn't play a part in what we are given no matter how hard we try I am heavily on the descriptivist 'sit back and watch' side. Dear old Johnson spent, what, 20 years writing that dictionary of his, keeping out words he didn't deem good enough and that didn't work either bless him heh.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Squaresquirrel)
    Hallo, I'm studying Japanese (and I don't study linguistics so someone correct me if I'm wrong).

    But I think that we only think of those sounds like that because that's how we learned them. If you think about it the sound a dog makes isn't actually (or very rarely) the same as woof. It's just thats how we learned it when small.

    In Japanese the onomatopoeia for 'Woof' is 'ワンワン' which is pronounced 'Wan Wan'. I asked my teachers and they say that is how they hear a bark, the same way we hear it as 'Woof' - If that makes sense??

    I think it's just about ingrained knowledge that we learn as children.
    You have just disappointed me, albeit re woof I see what you are saying. It is very hard to differentiate natural recognition and some form of pre programmed / taught association. Bah maybe has a stronger case, albeit it probably only works for grown sheep, lambs do make a different sound.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DeceitfulDove)
    This would be so much fun :puppyeyes:
    Well if it turns out to be your dissertation project I want my citation in the bibliography.

    No idea current referencing used, something like:

    "Re; Who invented words and their meanings? And Why", Student Room, DJKL, 1 February 2015


    ought to suffice. Plus of course half the royalties from the later book.

    These days there is probably a prescribed method for citing web forums.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    the number of now ordinary everyday words coined by Shakespeare is astonishing;

    http://www.shakespeare-online.com/bi...sinvented.html
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DJKL)
    There is some instances of this in "The Book of Dave", Will Self. You also have instances of course in 1984. There is another book in the back of my mind but memory not so hot these days, will probably remember circa 10.00 p.m.
    Another one though do not think it was the one I thought about, but could not remember last night, "A Clockwork Orange"
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by mediageek123)
    Just something I tend to think about alot.

    We always use so many words and it makes me wonder who came up with them in the first place and why?

    Animals don't appear to speak a language or 'words' they just make noises and seem to understand each other

    Is it just that humans continued to develop intelligent and more advanced brains or was it just coincidence? Surely several people would have to decide on the meaning of a word for everyone to use it correctly.

    Thoughts?
    Tower of Babel. Its a biblical story.

    Genesis 11:1-9 - Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.


    3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”


    5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”


    8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

    Man had lost sight of God and becoming arrogant and self-sufficient, disregarding God.

    http://www.bibleprobe.com/babel.htm
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    A lot of individual words were invented by shakespear and scientists when coming up with new concepts.
 
 
 
Poll
If you won £30,000, which of these would you spend it on?
Useful resources

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.