Friday, July 07, 2006

Non-Existent Words that People Use Anyway

Originally uploaded by katzeye.
Would this woodie go quicker than present day cars? Did you know that there is no such word as "quicker"?

It does not exist. You won't find it in the dictionary.

There is quick, quickly, quicken, but there is no "quicker."

It's probably Ogden Nash's fault, because, a little while ago, he wrote:

is dandy
But liquor
is quicker.

He was just bending the rules to be funny. Or "funner"?

What other words are there that we use as if they were real words when they really aren't? Can you think of any?

Just curious!


Anonymous said...

You have the "funnest" blog around.

-Nash Ogden

Cyclothymic Cister said...

I live in the South. The guys where I work say "fount" for found. What could be stupider than that?

kat said...

Nash, you're funner than a visit to the dentist! (too bad more people are not reading your stuff!)

kat said...


fount??? I guess that's a little bit like "acrossed."

the one that is really disturbing me lately, because I hear it all the time (and this is more a problem of usage and not one of a made-up word) is, in this example:

"So, her and her kids moved out of state."

"Him and the rest of the team went for pizza after the game."

Arrrggghhhhhh, grown adults walking around sounding like they are just learning to talk!

Me go now.

Anonymous said...

It's "accrost," not "acrossed!"

kiera said...


kat said...

Yeah, that's much funner! Why not, if people can say acrosst!

aj-today said...

The misuse and mispronunciation of words is one of my most cherished subjects. I, too, cyclothymic cister, live in the South.

How about "irregardless"? How about "My buddy’s went hunting.” instead of GONE hunting. Has the word "gone" completely disappeared from the English language? I rarely hear anyone using the word gone anymore where it needs to be.

But those goofs are common around the country. Have you ever heard someone call a wasp a WASPER? I'm serious. Almost everyone where I live says wasper and they think it’s a real word. Like, "I almost got stung by a wasper the other day." Here are a few more off the top of my head:

hisself for himself
knowed for knew
borned for born
ath-a-lete for athlete
x-a-ray for x-ray
arth-a-ritis for arthritis
Hiwaya for Hawaii

I could go on and on…

Janette said...

What about those who say "acts" instead of "ask"? Sheesh. Very annoying!!

There you go Kat. My first response!!

kat said...

"my buddy's gone hunting"? Why the apostrophe? Hmmm...?

As for the word "gone," I don't know that it is an extinct word, or an endgangered word, even. I always hear, "I could have gone..." or "I would have gone..." or "I wish you were gone!"

I've never heard the word "wasper" before.

The list you have there is pretty entertaining. Hisself, heh! I knowed you might say that, I seen it coming! (please, don't quote me!)

And then you've got all those ones where an extra syllable is added in the form of an "a." Very interesting.

I've also heard, "Kath-a-leen" quite a bit.

Well, nice chatting with you, I gots to go make din-a-ner,

kat said...

Hey Janette!

Yeah, I sometimes hear, "acts" (I always thought it was "axe" for some reason). I have mostly heard that from people who live in or grew up in the south, though.

Can I AXE y'all sumpin?

Thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said...

After I sent my comment, I realized that I made a mistake.... I should have typed "axe" not "acts". I figured you would get the idea. Being a first time blogger made me nervous. he he he

kat said...

Janette, don't be nervous. We'll be gentle with you! And anyway, who knows how to spell the non-word as used for ask? If it isn't a word anyway, it doesn't have a spelling rule! Right?

Anonymous said...

heighth, prolly, boughten, libary

kc petersen said...

Omigosh! I hear boughten all the time!

Herb said...

How about people who can't handle the words "to be"?

I've seen this in email and heard it in conversation:

"This document needs updated."

"So and so needs added to the distribution list."

Where's the "to be"?

I don't get it.

Then there's suppose and supposed...

"We're suppose to give them the results." (We're (think) to give them the results.??)

"We're not suppose to do that." (We're not (think) to do that.??)


kc petersen said...

Herb, you are soooo right! My husband complains about that exact same thing all the time.

And, I was just editing a book, written by teachers, that was lacking
"that"s and "of"s.

Anonymous said...

I say wasper. I hate when people say wasp. I didn't know that "wasper" was not so common until about two years ago. And now that I know that's not the word you're supposed to say... I still say wasper because wasp sucks.

kc petersen said...

Hmmm, I always thought that they stung!

Mandy said...

yea, I guess kids can't help it, I totally thought wasper, warsh, yeller, piller, and holler were all real English language words, well they are in the hills of Kentucky.

kc petersen said...

Mandy, sounds like you grew up in a very language-rich environment!

Anonymous said...

I like it when people here in the south say Camara instead of Camaro....

lovedaysgsdogs said...

Here is a sentence for you to ponder, and yes I am from the south and here some of these words almost daily: I set in the cheer by the far and got a skoshy bit too close and bout catched my paints on far.

Anonymous said...

My fiance, who is a very intelligent man, says "post to" for supposed to (not that that is correct either). Such as.....He's post to go to the store. Cracks me up. (We also live in the South.)

Anonymous said...

I have heard width pronounced with. It also seems common to move the emphasis to a different syllable of a word. PoLICE becomes POlice.

"I pullt over when the POlice turnt on his siREEN."