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Creating New Peoplese Words


Peoplese incorporates an orderly method of creating new words.  As time goes by, the language will improve.
Creating New Words – General Strategy
            If we are naming a completely new concept (e.g. gravity, electricity, train, gene, lazar), we need a completely new word.  This word can be based on anything, but ideally it is based on something:  a word from an ancient language, an adaptation of a story character, whatever.  A new word for a new concept should be one or at most two syllables, so that when prefixes, suffixes, and compounds are added to it, it will not be too long.
             When creating a new word, if the word is not the name of a completely new concept, the first choice is a mid۔dot word, because mid۔dot words are instantly recognizable and do not require memorization.  (Explanation via the "mid۔dot" menu of the Grammar page.)  Example:  "wristclock" instead of English "watch".  If the word creator (e.g. technical writer, business analyst, scientist, artist) cannot conceive of a mid-dot word to fit the new concept, a good compound word is the natural second choice, because good compound words are relatively easy to remember, and contribute, rather than detract, from the quality of the language.
             When creating a new word, attention should be paid to it's sound; the sound should be as pleasing as possible.
Good Compound Words
             Good compound words are good for several reasons, but they all have in common that they are relatively easy to remember.
            Most good compound words are comprised of two words whose meanings, combined, form a meaning that is almost but not quiet intuitive – i.e. they do not quite qualify to be mid۔dot words  E.g. babysit, badmouth, bagpipes, bigmouth, bloodbath, breakfast, breakthrough, broadcast, bulldog, bullfight, bullring.  Also:  driftwood, icecream, leftover, lipstick, necktie, nothing, popcorn, password, sandbox, skydive, snowdrift, stockpile, television, toothpick, topsoil, watchdog, waterfall, witchcraft.  The first time you hear these words, you’re not completely certain of their meaning; but, after learning their definitions, you’ll probably remember them.
            Some good compound words are less intuitive but add poignancy to the language, and for that reason are memorable.  E.g. afterglow, aftershock, backlash, backstab, brainstorm, brainwash, breakneck, bonehead, crackpot, cutthroat, diehard, firepower, grandson, heartbreak, henpecked, horsefly, hotdog, ladybug, lamebrain, nightowl, nosedive, pothole, playboy, pigtail, superpower.
            Some good compound words are even less intuitive, but are just as easy to remember. E.g. highrise, heartberry (English “strawberry”).
            Not all good compound words are formed from words which, linked together, convey the meaning of the compound; some contribute to the language by adding color.  E.g. cocktail, daredevil, eavesdrop, frostbite, grapevine, lighthearty, lipservice, loophole, ragtime.
            Some compounds are so old they are worth keeping.  E.g. cupboard, lighthouse.
            Click on the "compound word lists" link at the beginning of the Grammar page for more examples.

Mediocre & Poor Compound Words
             If you need to create a word, but can’t think of a mid-dot or a good compound word, then use a mediocre compound word.  In fact most people who need to create words are experts in fields unrelated to philology – they are electronic wizards, scientists, engineers, architects, and so on.  After they create their mediocre compound word to relay their message, it’s up to people with more language expertise to improve on it.
            Mediocre compound words are not misleading, but they don’t make sense.  Eventually, we want to replace them, and a good speaker or writer will do so if a handy synonym is available:  e.g. “comprehend” can be used instead of “understand”.  Other examples of mediocre compounds are:  background (not ground), commonplace (not a place), strawberry (nothing to do with straw), secondhand (nothing to do with hand, and not necessarily previously used by only one person), makeshift, however, drawback, downtown, notwithstanding, online.
            The worst words are misleading – they confuse, rather than communicate.  Worse then mediocre words, they are poor words, and should be replaced.  A “nightclub” is not a club.  You can “overthrow” a ball, but not a government.  Shouldn’t “overcook” mean “cook all over”, instead of “cook too long”?  “Overjoyed” sounds like a negative – too much joy – rather than it’s opposite meaning.  "Hamburgers" (Peoplese "cowburgers") are made from cow meat, not ham (pig meat).  Good communicators won’t use misleading words.

New Derivatives of Existing Words
            Any decent-sounding logically seeming derivative of an existing word is acceptable.
            Any sensible decent-sounding prefix or suffix added to any word is allowable.
            Anybody can introduce a new derivative; and if it’s good it will be copied.

Eliminating Homonyms & Synonyms
            Classical Chinese language was full of homonyms (words pronounced the same with different meanings), so difficult that only a few learned it.  During the nineteenth century China greatly alleviated the hononym problem by combining two words to form one new compound word.  The two words in a compound word sometimes each have identical meanings; for example,
愤怒 fèn-nù, meaning “wrath, rage”, form۔d by two ideograms both meaning “angry”.  Or they are formed from one word plus the category of that word; e. g. 金属jīn-shǔ, “metal” + “category”, meaning “metal”, because “jin” has so many other meanings.
With China’s new double-word technique, along with simplified script, literacy rate soared from scant few to more than 90%.
            English is likewise full of homonyms.  English helps alleviate the homonym problem in written langauge by spelling identically pronounced words differently.  E.g. bear & bare, there & their, fare & fair, where & ware.  The downside of this solution is that students must learn to spell every word, thousands of words, which requires many years of study.  (Auto-spellcheck systems – a bandage approach – don’t alleviate the memorization requirement.)
            Spanish words, by contrast, are spelled exactly as they are pronounced; each sound has one letter.  Read a Spanish word, and you know how to pronounce it.  Hear a Spanish word, and you know how to spell it.  Students spend no time memorizing spelling.
            Peoplese, as explained the the Spelling section, has two spelling versions:  Alike English, spelled like English, and Sound Spell Same (SSS) in which, like Spanish, each sound corresponds to one letter, with no silent or double letters.  Therefore, English homonyms become Peoplese SSS synomyms.  E.g. English bear & bare → SSS bār; where & ware → SSS wār.
            Peoplese eliminates synomyms by using the Chinese technique of adding a word to at least one of the identical sounding words.  E.g. block & bloc → blocgroup, beat & beet → beetplant, aunt & ant → antbug, been & bin → storagebin.  Upon reading or hearing these compound words, their meaning is either intuitive or easily remembered.
            In the Alike English spelling version of Peoplese, these compound words may seem superfluous to English speakers.  “’Been’ and ‘bin’, pronounced identically,  are seldom if ever confused, so why convert ‘bin’ to ‘storagebin’?”  The answer is that in SSS both “been” and “bin” are both spelled SSS “bin”, which in a written text could be confusing – especially in a sentence loaded with similar examples.  Peoplese Alike English, although massive۔ly simpler than English, retains English’s disadvantage of forcing every learner to learn how to spell every single root-word (although Alike English spares the learner from also learning how to spell the thousands of root-word derivatives).  Alike English is the training ground for Sound Spell Same.  With Peoplese SSS version, like Spanish, no student need learn how to spell even a single word.
            Key point:  when creating new words, homonyms should be avoided.  This can be creatively accomplished by converting one of the potential homonyms into a compound word, such as “storagebin” and “antbug”.  Otherwise, in SSS they will be identically spelled synonyms, creating potential confusion.

Language Pollution Control
            As technology gallops forward creating a new world, the inevitable new words must conform to the guidelines presented in this Creating New Words section, so as not to pollute Peoplese.  The principle arbiters of Peoplese are Peoplese speakers, each who have the power to repeat new words that will further simplify and beatify Peoplese, and not to pass along words which do not.  Thus, anybody can create a new word, and if it’s a good one, people will repeat it; if not, not.  Scientific and technical associations would be wise to hire philologists to create the best possible word -- if not intuitive, easily memorized, and pleasant sounding -- for a new concept.  As world citizens are critical of air and water pollution, so can they be of language pollution.  Writers who pass along convoluted words should be pubically criticized, and thereafter shunned.  Language responsibility:  passing along the good, not passing long the bad.

Be Linguistically Creative!
           Peoplese is a language by and for all people, so if you hear a word that you can improve on, do so.  In Peoplese, grammar tyrants are ignored.  Those who are learning Peoplese from a language other than English are in the best position to utilize their fresh perspective and examples from their own languages to enhance Peoplese.  Remember:  in Peoplese, nothing you say or write is "wrong". So whether you’re chatting with a friend or writing to a colleague, speaking in class, contributing in a business meeting – unshackle your language inhibitions and try your luck at creative expression.  Your word just may catch on, replacing one not as good, and thereby enhancing the language.    

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