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6. Communication > 50. Put Your Words in the Blender

Put Your Words in the Blender

It may seem counterintuitive, but you can be more expressive if you squish and mangle your language.

James Joyce wrote his last book, Finnegans Wake, in a language for the third millennium, a language of dreams. He called it nat language, a phrase that blends night language and not language. I call it Blnder, a blend of blender and blunder, because it mixes up words and people sometimes speak it by mistake.

Tip

Phonologists term that upside-down e in Blnder a schwa, and it’s pronounced “uh.”

Consider Lewis Carroll’s (another master of Blnder) description of portmanteau words:

Take the two words “fuming” and “furious.” Make up your mind that you will say both words, but leave it unsettled which you will say first. Now open your mouth and speak. If your thoughts incline ever so little towards “fuming,” you will say “fuming-furious;” if they turn, by even a hair’s breadth, towards “furious” you will say “furious-fuming;” but if you have the rarest of gifts, a perfectly balanced mind, you will say “frumious.”1


  

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