doesn't like the combing of words nearly as much as Finnish
I hear. Don't know for sure). So, that argument doesn't quite work.
But, what I find most interesting is that when we have such issues, noders continually turn to Webster, whether it be 1913 or otherwise.
I know a part of this is the convenience of having a noded dictionary, but someone had to write the definition. Meaning, this "definition" is the opinion of a person or group of people who thought they understood how We, the People, use the language. Webster is not the End-all-Be-all.
Better yet, and this is good general advice, is to make your own definition. A typical (and classical) form is:
____ is a X with characteristic Y
It's not nearly as easy as you might think. The goals are accuracy
- meaning the subject
is properly designated, and singularity
- meaning only
the subject is designated. One example:
A word is the most basic functional-unit of language composed of letters.
You'll have to forgive my lack of parallelism
but that's a rough draft
of such a defintion. To be formal about the matter, we would need to define functional-unit
but instead of trying to bottom-out
, we'll just run with what we've got.
With this definition, then, saying something isn't a word implies that it's either not a most basic functional-unit or not composed of letters.
In general, I think most people when they say that a word isn't a word mean that it's not a functional-unit. Meaning, they don't accept that construction of letters as having meaning (i.e. they've never heard it before). "lkajk" is a group of letters, but since it doesn't refer to anything, it's functionless, i.e. not a word.
Now, whether or not a "word" like "downvoting" should be called a word or not, depends on your own definition (and not Webster's!) Personally, I see "downvoting" as functional, it's made of letters, and so, according to my definition, it's a word. QED.
A similarly short reply: I never said it shouldn't evolve
. (I'm also of the opinion that evolution
can't be stopped, but that's another node.) In fact, my definition encourages mixing and combining as long as its functional. I'm pro-change
, my friend. But, in general English has other methods of word-creation
rather than combining. That's all.