What does it exactly mean to say something is not a word
? According to webster 1913
, a word is essentially
of human speech
, used to express
. However, the phrase above is typically used to point out something that does not exist in common language
. This implies that making up words
is not possible. I find that incorrect
So what if word 'downvote' (as a verb) is not in dictionary? It's made of two parts, down and vote. Now, I don't know how it is with you english-speaking people, in finnish language it is completely acceptable to take two legitimate words, combine them in legitimate way and create a new, legitimate word.
I say, if a group of letters has an understandable content and it conforms to the language RFC, let it be. newbie is a word, downvote is a word, barfing is a word and ping is conjugated ping - pang - pong.
A short reply: You said people turn to Webster too often in a tone of "English is a living language", and at the same time refuse allowing English to evolve. I don't see anything bad about word-mixing, so why not let it in (stay?) ? Languages should, as they have before, steal whatever's cool in other languages and adapt it.