General Question

genevievejones's avatar

Are there any words that you wish meant something else?

Asked by genevievejones (112points) July 24th, 2008

I always wished occidental meant “occasional accidents” but alas, it means pertaining to the west. and also, isn’t it great to make up new words or combinations of words when you can’t think of an accurate pre-existing one for a certain situation. but then doesn’t it suck when people insist that you aren’t using correct english? this happens to me occidentally.

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7 Answers

MacBean's avatar

I don’t have any examples of pre-existing words that I wish had different meanings, but your alternate definition of “occidental” reminded me of a website that I love and have to share: The Addictionary

augustlan's avatar

I often wonder why certain words don’t already exist. For example, “momentaniously” (see instantaniously). And my daughter’s favorite “squareular” (see circular). Also, wouldn’t “flutterby” make more sense than “butterfly”? My youngest daughter coined a family favorite: “deliciyum” for really tasty food :)

robmandu's avatar

Meniscus should be something slimy and gross.

“Eww, gross! You’ve got your meniscus on my sleeve.”

shrubbery's avatar

I agree robmandu! And phenolphthalein also sounds like it should mean something dirty.

Chemistry pick up lines for use at a titration competition etc:
* said in sleazy voice followed by a not so subtle wink * :
Will you come and check my meniscus? ;)
Will you please pass the phenolphthalein? ;)

8lightminutesaway's avatar

I always thought randominaiety should be a word. it sounds cool, plus i came up with it :)
and I dont think the definition for jaded fits the word. i dont know what it should be though

robmandu's avatar

Since people mix ‘em up anyway, would it hurt to singularize spelling of the following words, especially as they sound practically identical?

> affect & effect

> insure & ensure

> they’re & their & there

The thing is, everyone (well, us grammar snobs and english teachers) know the difference. And we can spot when they’re used improperly. My point is, if their mis-use is so easy to spot, then we implicitly know which meaning is actually intended. And since we know the intention of the communication, does the different spelling really contribute anything meaningful?

jlm11f's avatar

@shrubbery – oooh chemistry pick up lines…good (nerdy?) old days:

“I wanna titrate your test tube”
“Can you put that tube in my rack?
okay, i’ll stop now

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