What if we had the power to change a few words here and there and come up with a completely new meaning for it? But, if you thought doing so wouldn’t matter, think again. Well, The Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational invites readers every year to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.
Some of the winning words in 2017 were — Neurapathy, which was defined as ‘You’ve lost feeling in your extremities and just don’t care and Destingy: When life doesn’t give you what you want. We speak to youngsters, artists, and writers on what they think about this and some even came up with some innovative new words for us!
Amaan Ahmad, a writer and an artist who loves jumbling up words and creating his own says, “It’s a good brain exercise that stimulates the imagination and urges people to think beyond the boundaries of an already-developed language. I think this exercise could even be used to add new words to the dictionary.
Language helps build bridges of communication, but at the same time, no human is able to express what they are thinking, feeling or perceiving entirely using words. Therefore, the more words and expressions we are able to come up with, the closer we might be able to get in expressing what we truly mean.”
While for Chhavi Nagpal, 23-year- old literature student, this is a really great initiative and should definitely be held annually for some as nerdy as her. “It’s a lot of fun,” she says. “As far as the words are concerned I love the way people have used their sarcasm and wit to turn around words to make a comment on the current scenario of this generation.”
We speak to a much expressive Bengaluru-based artist, Nithya J Rao who thinks that it challenges a language to grow beyond its set rules. “I mean how else did we grow from year hath a maiden in thy arms to today’s arm candy, right? It’s not only fun but also makes us actively think about new words to define actions. I wish there were words to define pretending to study before an exam or an emotion for when biryani is coming and you can see the waiter bringing it.”