Use a Word. Save a Word.
If you’re feeling run over by the need to use single syllable words in order to express yourself in 130 characters on Twitter and tired of Sarah Palin “inventiating” new words, here’s a chance to luxuriate with (yes, that’s a word) and help save obscure and endangered words from extinction by adopting them.
“Save the Words,” a new web site from Oxford University Press, publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary, seeks to prevent the extinction of words that are endangered due to the their lack of use, by giving the site’s visitors a chance to “adopt a word,” with the requirement that you “care for your word” by committing to use it at least once a day.
However, like adopting a pet, actually taking care of your adopted word may be more difficult than it seems at first glance. How often, for example, will you have the opportunity to use the word “rogalian” (pertaining to a great fire) or “interfation” (the act of interrupting while someone is speaking.)
But some on the “Save the Words” web site are well-worn, beloved words, which just need a good home.
“Ten cent store” (a shop whose price point is a dime) and “Portapack” (the first portable digital recording system, manufactured by Sony) are up for grabs. And without some TLC and occasional use they may well be irreparably on the path to extinction.