Inventing a word !

There was a workshop on ‘Innovation’ at the workplace recently and we were given an exercise to invent a new word. This was sudden and we were all excited. I started thinking what word I would want and in which language. Then I recollected a problem I have faced in the English language.

In Tamil and Kannada, the regional languages that I speak, we can ask a person to the effect of whether he/she is the nth child of his/her parents. But this is a complicated scenario in English. After a long quest, I came across the way to put it in English.

‘What is your rank among the children of your parents?’

Tough isn’t it? I do not know if there is an appropriate word or a phrase in English for the above scenario. So, in the workshop I was thinking of a word that could make this simpler. And I proposed the word ‘CHILDNUM’. The word I created should be able to bring out the answer from the listener of the question, if he/she is the first or second or nth child of his/her parents. Now to an example with the new word:

Question: ‘What is your childnum in your family?’
Answer: ‘I am the 4th child.’

‘Childnum’ is the word that occurred to me during the workshop. Later I thought ‘Childrank’ would be more appropriate. But still I prefer to stick on to the first version. Do you think Oxford or Webster’s would be interested in the new word I created?

~ by Jayanthan Ravi on May 5, 2011.

One Response to “Inventing a word !”

  1. Nice one 🙂

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