Words, words, words! image

Words, words, words!

The Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary contains entries for 171,476 words currently in use, 47,156 obsolete words and around 9,500 derivative words. And yet Thatcher's linguistic greed is such that nearly a quarter of a million English words is hardly enough for him. With such a rich panoply of words available to him, why on earth does he feel the need to create more?

In his latest article Violence: My View from the Fence he writes about “prophetic rhetoric (or prophrhetoric, if you’ll allow me to coin a new term…)”.
Who does he think he is; James Joyce? Is his insistence on fabricating words an indication that he feels our native language inadequate to express the oh-so-complex thoughts of his little mind? Or is he just too lazy to search the dictionaries in order to see if an adequate alternative might already exist?
Once you start down the slippery slope of making up words, who knows where you will end up? Prophrhetoric (the rhetoric of prophecy) may seem like a perfectly sensible new term to coin, but what happens when it begins to spawn a whole family of absurd derivatives? Will we begin speaking of the prophrhetoricity of our religious language? Could the questions of God, mediated through the prophets, and not requiring answers be labelled prophrhetorical questions? And might an expert in analysing the language of spiritual gifts be a prophrhetorist?
We must put a stop to this linguistic lunacy before he goes over the edge and launches a range of spiritually inspired desserts: prophriteroles anyone?!

← Prev article
Next article →