Posted in Uncategorized

Word Usage Or Word Existence?

That is the question which should be asked in this linked article, which is supposedly about words that “don’t exist”.

This article is in some cases correct; others not.

Mostly it’s about word usage, not whether a word actually “exists” or not. “Snuck” is an example. Snuck is listed in the online dictionary that I use (It’s an app on my laptop) as an “informal, chiefly North American past and past participle of sneak.” There’s much more, as it links to Wikipedia, dictionary, history of the word.

Does it set my teeth on edge when I hear it? Yes. But that does not mean “snuck” does not exist. Hearing the word “sneaked” also sets my teeth on edge, possibly because I grew up with snuck.

Unfortunately. I know of a news commenter who absolutely has a tantrum if he hears the word “snuck”. (Oh well, get over it.)

The one that drives me nuts is the use of the word “concerning” as it’s come into vogue. Appropriate usage: “I’m writing this letter concerning that which you brought up.” Inappropriate usage: “That trend is very concerning.” Better stated, “There is great concern over that trend.”

Personally, as a word nerd and punster who likes to make up and play with words all the time, it’s OK to have fun with them. Words are the color palette of language.

Word nerds and grammar snobs are not necessarily the same animal, and if they should attempt hybridization, it will probably result in some sort of crazy chimera!

Always remember, the dictionary is your friend. 🤓