2009-08-19

Inpiscinate

I saw something at the bottom of the hotel swimming pool, dived down and retrieved this curious thing. I could not think what it could be. The hand baggage x-ray operator at the airport spotted it, took it out of my bag and asked what it was. Fortunately it has the word Zoggs on it so I asked Google who soon revealed that its sole purpose in life is to be thrown into a swimming pool so that someone can dive down and retrieve it!
 
It is 19 cm long and made of soft plastic. It is hollow but there are three holes in the back so that it will flood. Even so it would be positively buoyant so there is a small piece of metal embeded in the foot. This also means that it will stand upright on the bottom making it easier to grab.
 
Inpiscinate? A group of school kids apparently with the encouragement of their teacher(!) added an article to Wikipedia defining "inpiscinate" as "to throw into a fishpond" [or swimming pool = piscina in several European languages]. They admited that they were trying to establish the word. We zapped the article speedily from Wiktionary at inpiscinate and from Wikipedia at inpiscinate, inpiscination and inspiscinate. But I have to admit that it does exactly fit this little creature: designed to be inpiscinated!

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why delete this article? If the kids actually end up establishing the word then what will you say when it is added to the dictionary? You must understand that many commonly used words in the english language are words that first started being used as words that were weird and sounded like nonsense. It isn't right to crush the dreams of some kids who are just having some fun.

19 August 2009 at 22:36:00 BST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you believe it if I told you that I'm one of those kids? I highly doubt it, but it's totally true.
I don't really see the problem with inventing new words; there's way worse stuff on Wikipedia already, and the English language really is constantly changing. Sorry if it bothered you, but I'm totally forwarding this link to all of my friends. This is epic!

19 August 2009 at 23:55:00 BST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree when anonymous.

20 August 2009 at 00:10:00 BST  
Anonymous Savannah W said...

All of this just reminds me of Frindle...

At least it has a Latin base, and isn't letters strung together.

"In" of course means "in/into," while "piscina" means fishpond. It really is no different from "defenestrate" (to throw out a window.)

20 August 2009 at 00:35:00 BST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree completely. New words are invented and used every day, that is how the English language is progressive!

20 August 2009 at 14:38:00 BST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm one of the kids also and people do this kind of stuff all the time. We did'nt mean anything by it.

20 August 2009 at 20:01:00 BST  
Blogger Dids said...

The teacher of the class is my new hero. :)

26 September 2009 at 20:33:00 BST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's wrong with it? New words are made all of the time. Seem's like a perfectly good word to me.

12 November 2009 at 03:31:00 GMT  
Anonymous Katie F said...

Haha, now this is entertaining. The exclamation point next to teacher really caught my eye... I remember in English we made paper wheels that put together dozens of Greek and Latin roots into more complex, and sometimes nonexistent, words. I don't see much difference here. Personally, I commend that teacher for encouraging this little project.

Funny how a word like "muggle" can get into the Oxford English dictionary when a truly Latin-derived creation can't even make it onto Wiktionary (No offense intended to J.K. Rowling or Harry Potter fans).

12 November 2009 at 03:45:00 GMT  
Blogger lemon57 said...

We are kids in you 2013-14 class and we love your class so much!!!! YAY LATIN!

16 August 2013 at 17:25:00 BST  

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