That Should Be a Word

A Language Lovers Guide to Choregasms, Povertunity, Brattling, and 250 Other Much-Needed Terms for the Modern World, Lizzie Skurnick, Workman.

“That Should Be a Word” originated as a New York Times Magazine column, and it’s no surprise that Workman Publishing evaluated the concept and said, “That should be a book.” TSBAW includes 250 or so “much-needed terms for the modern world,” most of which are humorous, while a few have the potential to gain traction and enter the lexicon, probably what Skurnick is aiming for, since she’s a lexicographer and humorist.

To be sure, a few of Skurnick’s creations are downright stupid, like Wirgin (“one who has yet to cuss”), Drafterbirth (“children taken to bars”), and Plasticate, which refers to mistakenly biting plastic fruit.

But others are decidedly inventive, like Stressipe (STRES-ih-pee), “a dish that’s more trouble to cook than it’s worth; Perseveerance (“procrastination via performing other tasks”); Povertunity (“a job with more status than salary”); and Flawsome (“equally complimentary and insulting”).

Maybe it’s my dark worldview, but Skurnick’s neuroses-oriented words are my favorite. Consider: Deprescient (“imagining the worst will happen”); Dready (“always prepared for disaster”); Saddict (“one who thrives on misery”); and Canticipate (“to visualize negative events and consequences”).

Language lovers—enjoy!