Tuesday, November 20, 2018

My friend, the dictionary, is a very reliable friend

Several years ago, back when I was still in undergrad, I was part of a Utah-based theater lovers message board, Players Anonymous. Our membership was largely comprised of community theatre practitioners in the Utah and Salt Lake valleys. It was an opportunity to keep up to date about auditions and performances and other opportunities in the area, but also a place for general socializing. Eventually, mostly with the rise of Facebook, the boards went the way of much of the internet, and I'd moved out of Utah anyway. I enjoyed my time as a part of this group and met many people who affected my life in many ways, but that's not the point of this post.

My name on this board was Stretch Armstrong, based on the doll - not the band, or Stretch for short, which is where I get the AmandaStretch I largely go by now online. For a little while on the board, I created a weekly feature called "Stretch's Word Corner" where I'd make up silly words and their definitions. I don't remember any of them anymore - nothing really took off, but it was an amusing diversion for me.

I don't remember how I came up with any of the words. Some of them I worked on, some of them were probably happy accidents, like chocolate chip cookies - one of the world's best accidental inventions, but with far less cultural significance and staying power.

Words get made up all the time, at least in English. It's a living language, after all. Merriam-Webster added 841 new words to its dictionary this year alone!

I don't know if it will become part of the dictionary anytime soon, but Blake accidentally coined a new word, a clever portmanteau, this week that we really like - packanizing.

There's packing - put stuff in bags or boxes for travel or moving.

There is organizing - shifting things around to new locations within a permanent/semi-permanent space.

Packanizing is both! Blake has both to do this week, and when mentioning them on his to do list, he accidentally combined the words and it was a perfect description of the task ahead - a little packing of things to take with him, a little organizing of things to leave at home.

So, if you find it fits in your own life, you're welcome to use it too! Maybe it will take off and make the dictionary one day. Or maybe it will just make your life easier instead of saying packing and organizing separately all the time. You just might save several seconds of time over the course of your life.
Two nerds in love at a library on a vacation to Australia


Nancy said...

Packanizing is a great word! I will have to tell it to some friends who were just talking about such a thing last night—packing while organizing. :)

AmandaStretch said...

Yes! Spread the word! Literally!