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« Question of the Day | Main | Assad etc. »

Sunday, 12 December 2010


Mannie Sherberg
One of the glories of American English is that it's an ongoing celebration of the creativity of the American people. As a practical matter, American English needed another synonym for "astounded" the way I need one less hair on the top of my head. The language was already brimming over with colorful synonyms; dumbfounded, mind-blowing, hair-curling, dumb-struck, boggled ... the list goes on and on. But when it comes to their language, the American people have never cared much about "practical matters." If someone mints a new word, and it's vivid enough to catch people's fancy, it quickly becomes part of the ever-growing vocabulary of American English. Since the language already has a vastly larger wordstock than any other of the 6,000 or so languages on this planet, one more word can't hurt. Don't ask me why, but I like the sound of "gobsmacked." Thanks for the introduction.
Rick Richman
We are all gobsmackees now.

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