While the creativity of the English language never ceases to entertain me, one thing it doesn’t tend to do is become full of words which are particularly long.
Thank goodness then for a brief diversion provided by Welsh, where a new word coined this week has certainly set a pleasing bar for longest new word of the year in any language.
To promote the Welsh launch of Lumen, a dating app for the over-50s, the word credwchmewncariadarôlpumdegoherwyddeifodmorllawennawrfelybuerioed has been coined.
Tripping nicely off the tongue, the word was created by writer Sarah Russell from Monmouthshire, and it was constructed to include the words’cariad’ (love), ‘credwch’ (believe) and ‘llawen’ (joyful).
It now rivals famous placename Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch and at seven characters longer, may yet achieve greater fame than its predecessor. I just want to see both words together on a billboard.
One thing English speakers the world over love to talk about is the weather, and the extreme weather being experienced in many places is leading to the inevitable conversations about whether we need some new words to discuss particular weather phenomena.
One word which got particular usage in England this week was Thundersnow, which while not new is certainly not common. But despite the dire warnings of snow-filled storms lashing the countryside, the Thundersnow didn’t materialise, meaning the word needs to return to the sidelines.
One person never on the sidelines of course is Donald Trump, and this week, he found a way to temporarily end the shutdown of the US Federal Government. It was suggested that Democrat House Leader Nancy Pelosi had ‘dog walked’ him into submission, leading to suggestions that Dog Walk is an early contender in the World of the Year stakes. It will be interesting to see if this phrase develops over the year.
So the moral of this week’s words – find love, avoid bad weather, walk your dog.