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‘If you can’t beat them’

Keith GoganI need to get with the program. Allow me to explain. It seems that I have been using classic forms of words instead of much shorter, truncated forms of words, and in doing so, I am out of step with the masses. As far as I can tell, it’s cool to truncate words, reducing their number of syllables, apparently because using one or two more syllables creates intolerable work for today’s speakers of English.

A few examples of this trendy truncation are in order. Today, it’s common to hear “disconnect” (verb form) instead of “disconnection” (noun form), when the longer noun form is expected: “There’s a disconnect of ethics and business,” someone might say. (In fact, my computer just flagged the use of “disconnect,” in the sentence above, as an error.) Other examples include these: the use of “reveal” instead of “revelation” (“Get ready for the big reveal!”), the use of “fail” instead of “failure” (“His attempt was a big fail”), the use of “invite” instead of “invitation,” (“Send me an invite”) and so on.

This bandwagon is rolling fast, so I’ve decided to jump on it. So, from now on, when I speak or write about foundations in American history, I’ll refer to the “Declare of Independence.” Concerning the termination of slavery in the U.S., I’ll refer to the “Emancipate Proclaim.” Moving onward in our history, I’ll refer to the great “Civil Rights Move” of the 1960s.

Because I teach at a Christian institution, I see myself, from now on, periodically referring to events in Christian history, as well, by truncating words. I’ll refer to the astounding appearance of God in the flesh as “The Incarnate.” I’ll refer to his glorious rising from death as “The Resurrect.” I’ll refer to the triumphant consummation of God’s plan as the central theme of the “Book of Reveal.” Furthermore, I’ll refer to a certain landmark event in Christian history as “The Protest Reform.” Yes, I think I’m getting the hang of this.

In conclude, I resolve to get up to speed with society. To do so, I resolve to buy a pair of non-prescription fashion eyeglasses. I resolve to install an app that reminds me when to exhale. Most important, I resolve to dismember every noun audacious enough to make me utter even one extra syllable. With that last resolve, I have great expects about the future of the English language.

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