Posted by Rezwan Razani on Oct 07, 2013 at 06:57 PM

Some tips from Shakespeare to navigate the tension between “proper language use” and anarchy.  Leveraging Persian “affixal” qualities to make up new words.

In which we discuss the importance of creativity in language. This includes taking a creative approach to language, and leveraging language to increase your own creativity, to help you make connections you may not otherwise.

Good News!  It’s OK to make up new words in Persian

Everyone’s doing it!

“Proper” language use and the Word Magnets

Are you concerned with using language “properly”? Excellent! We also believe in the proper use of language. In fact, we plan to write some useful books on the subject of grammar. We’ve also designed our Persian-English magnet kits with a special eye for grammar. Each kit features a carefully chosen, well-rounded selection of all the parts and particles of speech necessary to make perfectly proper sentences. When used in conjunction with classroom instruction, the magnet kits can be a very proper educational tool.

Language Anarchy!

And yet, anarchy rockets through this website and our magnet kits like a winged turtle drunk on butane. Language is a wondrous and flexible code. When you unfold odd word combinations, they can spark your imagination and feed your creativity. They can lead to new possibilities, new insights, new visions, new meanings. Even when it doesn’t make “proper” sense words can trigger wondrous thoughts!

Some tips from Shakespeare

Therefore, we encourage you to play fast and loose with these words. Consider the legendary Shakespeare (who, coincidentally, coined the phrase “fast and loose”). He loved language and never let fears of conventional use inhibit him. In order to express his ideas, he invented over 1700 words that are commonly used today (such as “amazement”).

The English language owes a great debt to Shakespeare. He invented over 1700 of our common words by changing nouns into verbs, changing verbs into adjectives, connecting words never before used together, adding prefixes and suffixes, and devising words wholly original. [Page takes you to] a list of a few of the words Shakespeare coined, hyperlinked to the play and scene from which it comes. When the word appears in multiple plays, the link will take you to the play in which it first appears.

There you have it.  Shakespeare was a verbal bot-shekan (idol smasher).

And yet they did not tell him he wasn’t doing it “right”. Instead they were struck with awe and declared his deviations to be the standard of “proper” English use which is inflicted on the rest of us to this day.

Persian is well-suited to making up words

More details to come as we fix up the grammar section. In general, Persian is an affixal language. Here, read this article about Persian Morphology which says:

Persian morphology is an affixal system consisting mainly of suffixes and a few prefixes. The nominal paradigm consists of a relatively small number of affixes. The verbal inflectional system is quite regular and can be obtained by the combination of prefixes, stems, inflections and auxiliaries.

This is another way of saying:  Dude!  Persian works like bricks and you can toss ‘em together and make up all kinds of cool stuff!  Shakespeare would be proud.

Let’s get “Simorq-anized”

This is an example of a “portmanteau word”, like motor + hotel = motel.

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