January 17th, 2005

Illustmaker me

Word games

I play Word Whomp over on AOL. And I have a problem... I know enough about the language that I can't figure out why some things aren't words. I'm on a timer, and instead of just accepting that "fifed" isn't in the game's dictionary, I'm trying to explain to the screen that it works perfectly well as a word, particularly since it accepts "fifer." My reasoning is that unlike those who play other instruments, fife players get an -er suffix instead of in -ist suffix. We don't speak of a guitar-er, and one does not guitar as a verb (unless perhaps one is in Sunnydale, but even there I think they'd skip it; "I'm gonna go up there and guitar a little bit" doesn't have much of a ring to it). On the other hand, the other instrument that recieves an -er is the drum. One is a drummer. One drums. So doesn't it make sense that if one is a fifer, one is a person who fifes, or has, at some point, fifed?

I do this constantly with other words as well. Why shouldn't re-fin be a word? Isn't that what you'd do on the set of Jaws if you were a prop-master? I mean, I could hear someone saying, "Hey, go re-fin the damned mechanical shark before you take five, okay?" Lots of re- and -er words like that, and no matter how often I play the silly game, I always try some weird made-up (but sensible) word and get annoyed when I get that irritating beep.

And of course, it misses fandom words including the simple "het."

Anyone else run into this in word games?

(No, Fern. Just you.)

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