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
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
instantly recognizable and do not require memorization.
(Explanation via the "mid۔dot"
menu of the Grammar page.) Example: "wrist∙clock"
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
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,
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.
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
New Derivatives of Existing Words
Any decent-sounding logically seeming derivative of an existing word is
Any sensible decent-sounding prefix or suffix added to any word is
Anybody can introduce a new derivative; and if it’s good it will be
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 synonyms.
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.
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
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.