Scooch Over, Dictionary!

Whenever I use my spell check, I almost always have a made up word or two in my writing.  I can’t help but to write the way my brain thinks.  And since I write for kids, my brain doesn’t think on a very adult level sometimes.

Do you ever make up words for your manuscript?  If so, what genre do you write for?  If you’re a stickler for dictionary words, does finding a made-up word bother you when reading?  What are some of your favorite fake words?

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20 responses to “Scooch Over, Dictionary!

  1. I am not nearly talented enough or imaginitive enough to write fiction. My forte’ is non fiction where I am the authority. I don’t make up words and deliberately have to use simple language because not everyone has a big vocabulary.

    I really enjoy your blog. You always come up with great analogies. I wish that I had your talent. Your husband and your children are truly blessed to have you in their lives

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder

  2. I make up words all the time since I write sci-fi fantasy. When I made up an entire planet, every thing I used needed a name. I tried to make them kinda close to real words, just so the reader wouldn’t be totally at sea. For fake words that I love, I’m gonna have to go with muggle. It sounds like such a put-down, even if the insult is unintentional.

  3. Not counting all the made up words in fantasy and sci fi novels, and kids’ books, I don’t see too many made up words in fiction…except the ones I type. Most of mine seem to be my weird way of expressing sounds or actions: smoosh, foomp, etc.

  4. Actually, yes. I’ve got made up words for shapeshifters, bits of language for fantasy worlds, etc.

    Sometimes I hate made up words, and sometimes I love them. I will put down any book that reads:

    “Wydreslty went to Mount Vstrzdl in order to find the quizfrzt tree….”

    On the other hand, Watership Downs impressed me. I had no trouble reading it at all, and in the end there was a sentence purely in rabbit talk that I found, to my amazement, I could read. Fantasy language can be good or bad, depending on how it’s done.

    • Amkuska,

      I’m with you on not liking the impossible to pronounce words that make no sense whatsoever. Seriously, most languages are heavily interconnected, so why would we want to read complete gibberish?

  5. I write YA and have made up plenty of words. Two of them remain in my MS: crink (a verb, meaning to get out of whack) and soggily (as in, “the dog dripped soggily”). I’m hoping they catch on. 🙂

  6. I fight with my spellcheck, because the default is American English not English English, so I have to constantly keep changing it and the bugger changes itself back until I’m yelling “I’m in ENGLAND!!!!” lol

    As far as I am aware, I haven’t invented any words, I don’t mind writers who do (Doublas Adams did) as long as they explain what the word means so I don’t go “huh?”

  7. Hehe I enjoy playing with words- making up new ones that I think my characters would use. We have to have a little fun, don’t we ? 🙂

  8. I love making up words!!! That’s one of the best things about authors Dr. Seuss, Roald Dahl, and Lewis Carrol. They were wizards with imaginative language!

  9. I write fantasy, therefore I “invent” words for races and sometimes languages. I have made up a “con-lang” (constructed language), but I’m not using it much so far… just a few words here and there, so I won’t confuse the English reader! 😉 (my con-lang is English written as it’s pronounced in Italian… how clever is that? :-)). For the Magical Races names I used Encyclopedia Mythica and… Esperanto (fajrulo means man of fire or something like that)! 😉

  10. Made up words are the only way the English language will progress. We need them. They fill in the blanks…they solve the problem of, “i just can’t find the right word to express…’

    Bring on made up words!

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