Sunday, October 19, 2008

ELBONICS has nothing to do with language.

Elizabeth has posted a few suggestions for teaching morphology and semantics. She's been putting up some nice posts on classroom instruction.

To get the kids doing some word formation she suggests a sniglets game. I wish I had thought of that. I used to read a lot of Rich Hall's stuff. I'd even laugh occasionally. I remember a couple of his terms (please forgive me if the spelling is wrong).

bevemirage: the colored plastic base of a 2-liter soda bottle that always makes you think there's still pop

accordionation: the ability to read a roadmap while driving

That second one might have been the adjective accordionated. I'm not sure. But the fact that they're both completely made up and yet one form makes the other a very likely alternative form is a good morphology lesson in itself.

Elizabeth provides a few more definitions for things that don't have a single word name, but could.

a. People who go through the express checkout with more than the maximum number of items (best neologism I've heard (from a magazine): "expressholes")

b. Americans who sew Canadian flags to their backpacks when travelling to avoid anti-American sentiment (best answers I've heard: "conardiens" (from the very rude French insult conard) and "ehmericans")

c. The feeling you get after turning in a test when you realise one of your answers was wrong (best answer I've heard: "whommmmp")

d. The dirty melted snow that builds up on roadsides (best answer I've heard: "dookie-yuki" (from the Japanese word for snow, yuki))

e. What you would call Indiana if you were an explorer and discovered it as it is today (best answers I've heard: "cornhole," "Nascarolina")

I'm done teaching this semester's morphology unit, so it's too late for me. Next time I'll be sure to give the game a try.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout-out. Of course, I can't take credit for all the answers, as my students came up with some of them. But I'm always on the lookout for new ones to try.


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