Tessellation

By many accounts, from the professionals who count such things, the English language sits atop the heap of languages ranked by number of words.

Many of the world’s languages contain such a finitude of words that you can actually make a list, learn all the words, and be done. But in English, we don’t even know how many words there are. Supposedly between eight hundred thousand and a million. And English keeps growing, as it is considered a “sponge language,” like some vast sci-fi fungi that consumes everything it encounters.

Let’s pause to applaud. (Sounds of clapping and whistling.) Way to go English! You’re such a beast! You’re so fat and hungry! You’re so badass!

English contains books full of words waiting in the wings to be called into the game. Such as the word Tessellate. Not a word you hear every day. Or ever. But it’s a real word. It means to fit pieces together in a pattern, like a tile floor, and it comes from Latin — the word tessella, which is a small stone or tile.

The English language is tessellated with words like tessellate, and as vast as this network of words and meanings may be, the individual words still do not fit perfectly and seamlessly together like a perfectly tessellated tile floor. Gaps remain, edges where one meaning does not wash all the way to the edge of the next meaning. So unfortunately — as rich as English is — quite a few corners of experience remain unrepresented by just the right word. So sad. And nobody seems alarmed about this verbal shortfall. Therefore, I have taken it upon myself to provide neat new words for these unrepresented facets of experience. They are a little like the citizens of the District of Columbia who are unrepresented in our national government. It’s just not right.

Without further ado, for your consideration, here is a brief sampling of new words available for consumption by the English language beast. (I’m just here to feed.)

Clambastic: Saying nothing, with great fanfare.

Exhitish: When the audience is done but the performer is not.

Cantelope: When you won’t get married ’cause you’re a fruit.

Snoozini: Sleeping your way out of a jam.

Bellaginary: The war against reality.

Check back. Supplemental tessellae to follow on a semi-irregular basis.