I’ve written before about the delightful column in The Atlantic where Barbara Wallraff posts reader requests (and ideas) for words that don’t exist but should. I didn’t realize that she also has a book called Word Fugitives until my husband, knowing what a word nerd I am, got it for my birthday.
Ms. Wallraff describes a word fugitive as “a word that someone is looking for, which other people helpfully try to find or coin” and “holes in the language that dictionary words have failed to fill.” She usually lists the many variations people come up with, and then the one she likes best. Some examples:
* the word for that restless feeling that causes you to repeatedly peer into the refrigerator when you’re bored: fridgety.
* the word to describe how you hear of something for the first time and then start hearing about it everywhere: déja new.
* the word for the tendency to make more mistakes when a very critical person is watching: carper-fumble syndrome.
* the word for sending an e-mail that says a file is attached and forgetting to attach the file: forgetfileness.
Pretty clever stuff. Get it. Read it. Enjoy!