Crazy English: On Being “Frenemies” With Neologisms

The Misfortune Of Knowing

Welcome to the framily_Misfortune of Knowing

The 5th edition of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary has added 5,000 words, including “chillax,” “selfie,” and “frenemy,” a move that recognizes the evolving nature of the English language (and probably gives younger players an edge!).

According to Merriam-Webster, a “frenemy” is someone “who pretends to be a friend but is actually an enemy.”

That would describe my husband’s perspective on neologisms, new words entering the English language. On the surface, he’s fairly progressive about language—he has no qualms about starting sentences with conjunctions or separating sentences with only one space after the period—but he’s skeptical of new words.

As he says:

I love obscure English words and untranslatable words from other languages. Bring on thetsundoku, thebackpfeifengesicht, thehygge, themamihlapinatapei, because each represents a distinct concept that requires a sentence to explain. That’s the same standard I apply to English neologisms…

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