Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Words Stolen from the English Language

First Uber, then Jaunt, two of my favorite words, now gone forever. Or at least as long as I live.

It used to be that I could show some multilingual sophistication by creating Germanic compound words, using Uber, such as uberdog, uberschmuck, and uberswine, just to name three. But now with Uber, the taxi service which is worth billions because it is able to find a way to employ the masses of unemployed that the US has created with globalization and with failing to provide any alternative for them, Uber is forever associated, in this country at least, with that quasi-taxi scam.

In other words, a favorite word has been stolen from me, and I dont like it.

Another such word is Jaunt. You may not be aware that “jaunt” a rather rare but normal part of the English language also has a secret meaning and a secret history. One of the most important early science fiction novels is/was The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester in which teleportation is called “jaunting”, or “to jaunt”. Now it will probably lose that meaning because everyone will assume you mean the new, very well financed, VR game company.

You want to steal a word from me, fine. Love you too.

An early use of the concept of synesthesia


  1. I believe the word jaunt also according to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jaunt used to mean to make a short journey for pleasure- I used to use the word for that! I think we all need to make up a few words to see if they can be inserted into the language- about 20 years ago I tried with"fishetarian" and thought the more upscale term is used- once in awhile I do hear fishetarian.

    1. Yes, that was what I was referring to. Jaunt meaning informal journey. Also he said jauntily, as in casually.