The spelling of new words.

When you invent a new word, do you get to spell *it pretty much any way you like?
Fer example;
From m-w

I mean, it coulda been spelt “laptaupe”, right?
How 'bout “desquetaupe”? :wink:
*BTW; I know “it” is always spelled ‘i’ ‘t’.

The whole point of inventing a word is that you can spell it any way you want…but would laptaupe make any sense? Of course not. You put it on top of your lap…laptop.

As an example, the coolest word I ever invented was deicide (the wilful killing of a deity, or more commonly of the concept of a deity.) for a philosophy paper I was writing.

Now, if I had gone all willy-nilly with the spelling, it wouldn’t make any sense, because the word is made from the roots deity and cide.

I hate to break this to you, friedo, but Merriam Webster’s gives the first citation for “deicide” as 1611.

But maybe you’re just very old. :smiley:

I hearby invent the word “godkill”.
Sorry, friedo, beat you to it. :smiley:

If you create a new word, and give it a screwy spelling like putting e’s before i’s, except after c, people are just going to make a habit of misspelling/mispronouncing it until the official spelling and pronunciation are changed match up with common usage. Once a new word is out of your hands you lose control over its spelling, pronunciation and meaning.

Smurf or Smürf ?

Well you could spell it like that if you just wanted to confuse people, sure.

Your example is not strictly a new “word” but a new coinage, using two old and established words in a new way. I think you could be a lot more free and easy about spelling “new” words if you borrowed them from another language.

BTW, the rules I know tell me “taupe” is pronounced more like “tope” than “top,” and also it’s already in the language as the name of a color - so people like me would go around thinking “laptaupe” is a new shade of lipstick.

aseymayo, thinking;

[Searching “root” word file.]
[Mental Images]

(Watch this. I bet I can get mangeorge to giggle if I say “penis.”)

MG - it’s time to put the bong down. Penis!

Be careful- the Usage panel will seize your new word and issue a ruling. If they can declare irregardless to be a word, they can do anything.

Men don’t giggle, aseymayo, we chuckle. :wink:
Thanks for the gig… er, I mean chuckle.
Put it down? Hah!
“The ‘cold, dead fingers’ thing, except bong instead of gun”.