Words make thoughts reality especially when we say them out loud, form sentences that structure our ideas into plans, goals and strategies. But sometimes we just don’t have the words to describe what we feel, think or see. We struggle to communicate what is going on inside us and we are forced to create new words, invent terminology to describe what is happening.
Not only do we influence language, change it let it evolve, but language influences us. How we speak, what words we use and even what mother-tongue we grew up in makes us who we are and effects how we see the world. Words seem to be not only descriptions of the world around us but a vital part of our identities and culture.
In the latest National Geographic (July 2012) a feature titled: Vanishing Voices looks at remote languages that are vanishing from the world and what that means to society. Sadly the loss of each word, each phrase and every story means humanity losses an insight into a world most of us do not know.
Accompanied by gorgeous photos by Lynn Johnson lecturer and author Russ Rymer gives a personal insight into meeting the last few remaining speakers of some native American tongues.
But even our everyday language loses words as people stop using them in everyday life, they become old fashioned, or their meanings get distorted, changed. For example gay means something entirely different now then it did in Jane Austins times.
So here are a few words I found, loved and would enjoy seeing used more often again, maybe if we all use one or two today they may come back!
skimble-scamble : rambling; confused; nonsensical
Homerkin: an old liquid measure for beer.
Nameling: persons bearing the same name
dekko: to take a quick look or glance
jalopy: a battered old motor vehicle
deevy, devey: delightful, charming
mondo: very much, extremly, huge, considerable
funk-hole: a place of safety into which one can retreat