Wednesday, April 4, 2012


It seems I’m getting behind on my posts…. Or actually, it seems I was getting ahead of myself.

I want to talk about a concept I’ve been dabbling with for a couple of years. I call it “inliteration”. It’s a word I made up to capture the essence of what it means to make up a word. Inliteration is similar to “incarnation”, except instead of meaning to become “embodied” in a thing that is physical, it limited to taking form as words.

Here’s Merriam-Webster’s definition(s) of incarnation:

So to parallel those definitions, I propose:


1a (1): the embodiment of a deity or spirit in a word or group of words in human language (2): the union of concept with language analogous to the union of divinity with humanity in Christianity b: a quality or concept definable as a word or group of words

2: the act of inliterating: the state of being inliterated

3: language

This is a cut at a definition… enough, I think, to be able to refer to it for other discussions. I’ve found it a handy word to have in conversation with a small group of friends who talk about library science, indexing, and life philosophy in general.

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