It is said that some people have a knack for using just the right word in a given situation and some people, well, not have a knack for that sort of thing. To relieve the suffering of those lacking in finding just the right word, I have coined three perfectly good words that will someday be part of the Oxford English Dictionary.
First of all, let me explain the use of the word “coin,” as in “to coin a phrase.” It does not mean to repeat an aphorism or platitude, such as “birds of a feather flock together.” This would be to “use a cliché.” However, if you were to say, “I was Palin-ized” to say you were held hypnotic by an entrancing public speaker whose words, when examined, are essentially meaningless or false – that would be coining a phrase.
Hmmm… make that FOUR perfectly good words that will someday be part of the Oxford English Dictionary, this new one to be alongside “gerrymandering” and “Maverick” as etymologically politically-based.
The other words soon to be tripping off your tongue are:
CYBERPAL (noun) A person whom you have never met personally but with whom you have established a relationship through the Internet or other online resources. “My CYBERPALS and I all comment on the same message board.”
I am surprised that these next two words don’t exist in proper English, as they are wonderful words whose meanings are immediately clear upon usage. Nonetheless, they are still the victims of Spell-check. For now.
ELSEWAYS (adverb) An alternate manner of doing something. “Whether you choose to do it the way I explained it or ELSEWAYS, I’m sure it will turn out just fine.”
ELSEWHEN (adverb) An alternate time. “The packages are expected to arrive at noon, but if they get here ELSEWHEN, please put them aside.” See? Isn’t that easier than saying, “…if they get here a another time…” UPDATE: My friend, writer Bob Ingersoll, tells me that ELSEWHEN “has been used in science fiction for decades now. It refers to someone who has traveled in time. ‘Jim is elsewhen’ means he’s in some other time period than now just as ‘Jim is elsewhere’ means he’s in some other location than here." To that end, I stand by my new definition but not the new word.
On behalf of a better-speaking America, let me say, “¡Da nada!”
CYBERPALS, ELSEWHEN AND ELSEWAYS