Friday, 12 April 2013

I've invented a new word

Even though I yesterday threatened everyone with politics, I have decided to hold fire on this for a few days and instead involve myself in morphological word formation (sounds very cerebral, that, doesn't it?)

knobbery (nb-r)
an act or action undertaken by, or pertaining to, a knob

Yes, my friends, the man who brought you the word 'grinping' (that's me, by the way) has now created another new word that will one day undoubtedly make it into the Oxford English Dictionary:
Knobbery.
Say it with me...
How well it rolls off the tongue and how quickly it creates within our minds a visual recreation of what it represents.
Instinctively, we know what it means and when it should be used, it's that kind of word.

A warning, though. There is the potential for the word 'knobbery' to be used interchangeably with another of my favourite words - 'muppetry'. This mistake should be avoided at all costs!
Whilst there are some obvious similarities - for example, both are applicable when the noun (the 'knob' or the 'muppet') undertakes an act or action that can best be described as 'stupid', the act of muppetry is generally regarded as innocent, humorous and its consequences can mostly be summarised as resulting in mild inconvenience or subsequent merciless piss-taking. Knobbery, in contrast, is a much more serious, sinister and unbecoming trait and is certainly not something which an individual would want to be associated with (no-one minds being called a 'muppet' every now and again; the same can't be said for 'knob').

Perhaps this important distinction is best explained through a practical example.
Take texting whilst driving a five-tonne Mercedes van along the northbound carriageway of the M6 at over 60 mph - now that, I would suggest, is classic 'knobbery'. (At this point I would like to say that I am sure that none of my friends, colleagues, blog-readers, Facebook 'likers' or Twitter followers would ever be guilty of such moronic action - if that is not the case, then I expect the person responsible for such 'knobbery' to either beat themselves senseless with three sticks of rhubarb covered in Nutella or to run naked up and down the aisles of their local Tesco with the words 'I am a knob' written in indelible ink on their backs, shouting 'Forgive me, for I have sinned!' at the top of their voice).

Driving to that same supermarket (other supermarkets are available) and, having parked the car and got a trolley, you then discover that you've left your shopping list (or your wallet) on the kitchen table - now that's 'muppetry'.

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