Saturday, June 9, 2012

Lost for Words?

Have you been watching “Randling” on ABC1? It’s a game show about words, hosted by Andrew Denton. I should point out that my good friend Anthony, is in one of the teams (Go Fitzroy Fireballs!) so I do have added interest there. 

My criticism of the show is that it
1: has too many teams (i.e. not enough Anthony!) and
2. not enough quick questions. 
Anthony Morgan
 The show has too many long winded answers relying heavily on the wit of the contestants. This doesn’t work for me because you can’t play along at home. Instead you just watch and squirm while the answer bumbles forth from the (too often) try-hard actors. With the word puzzles and anagrams you can play along and it’s fast and snappy. The long winded answers are ostracising to the audience member. Unless it’s riveting, which too often, it isn’t. More quick questions please Mr Denton!

But what is great about “Randling” is the wordplay. Last week enlightened us to the German word “Kummerspeck” (German didn’t seem that interesting in High school! Sorry Ms Kruytbosch!) . The word means weight gained from emotional overeating. It translates as “grief bacon”. Isn’t that ace? Why don’t we have a word for that?

For a wonderfully diverse language, English does lack some things. And once you start thinking about it, it does seem like we lack are lacking. There should be a word for grief gluttony. There should be a word for falling out of love. The Russians even have a word for the feeling you have for someone you used to love, but don’t any more: “Razbliuto”. There should be a word for when you momentarily forget the name of someone you are talking to – the Scottish have it – “tartle”.  For some more corkers, look here. 
I especially like the Italian word "Attaccabottoni (Italy): A “buttonholer” – someone who corners casual acquaintances or even complete strangers for the purpose of telling them their miserable life stories."

While reading a comment on Jill in a Box’s blog post, it dawned on me that there should be a word for clicking on link after link from blogs, until you are completely lost. Lost in a blogmire? After too much linkandering? Clixploring? 

There should be a word for people who talk in the cinema. Moviemumblers? Flickspeakers? People who answer their phone in the cinema. Cinedials? A word for when you see someone you know, and you both recognise each other, but chose to pretend you didn’t see each other. Friendvoidness? I noticed Curly pops had a craftastophe the other day – or was it a craftaster?

And you know when you are on a tram and two people are talking loudly and then one gets off and there is that awkward silence of the one who remains and realises that everyone has been listening and they are all strangers? There should be a word for that too. 

My five year old twins have many words common to just them. A twin-speak, reinforced because there are two of them. My favourite is the word they have especially for each other. “Sister” isn’t special enough. “Twin” means nothing to them, because they don’t see two, but one. Instead, they use the word “dother”.  “She is  my  dother” or “I’m never lonely because I have my dother.”

What do you think there should be words for? Are there any made up words that you have? And what about the words we lose?  Or those over used phrases you can’t stand? (If I hear “game changer” one more time in the media I’ll do a silent Munch-like scream!)

If you like making up words, the Randling site has a competition each week. This week they are looking for the name for a postcard that arrives after you’ve returned home from your holiday. A post-postcard? An aftertripnote? Pastpostit?
I’ll  keep watching “Randling” every Wednesday night - for the Fitzroy Fireballs (complete with crochet mascots!)- and for the wordspiration.


  1. I haven't heard about randling but I do love making up silly words that make no sense - other favourites are fantabulous, craptastic, and crapsticks.
    My scottish cousin is moving to Aus soon. I'll have to get her to 'word me up'!

  2. Julianne I think that if you are ever wanting a career change you should become a Randling writer! I agree with you thoroughly regarding its faults, and some nights certainly do work a lot better than others, according to the quality of the contestants....

    1. Well Sandra, if I ever got a chance I'd love to be a Randling writer. If you ever see Mr. Denton, tell him! I think it's too much pressure to rely on the contestants so much. More fast word games for us at home!