The other day I discovered a post on Chip’s Quips that included the following:
Paul answered my Blogging Tips meme-tag with a veripun: “Persistence is fertile.”
veripun, n., a truth embodied in a pun. From L. verus, “true” + “pun”. I just made that up.
This particular made-up word really tickled me for one simple reason: unlike many other made-up words I’ve seen, it would be very easy to mistake for a real word that you just hadn’t stumbled across before. (Not to mention it’s just a cool concept all around.)
Today, make up a dictionary entry for a made-up word. But do everything you can to make the term and its definition seem as real as possible. Also try to make it a word for a concept that you think really should be represented by a single term—something that our language has overlooked until now, or something that we haven’t had reason to quantify in a single word before now. All ‘real’ words were made-up by someone; try to come up with something so useful and vocally interesting that you could actually imagine it being incorporated into the language.