Combination Words

photo by Zhang Kelly

You know how people want to ridiculously and unnecessarily combine words? You know how they end up making mostly useless words like this: a dream catcher is a “datcher”, a beneficial organism is a “borganism”, and a significant other is a “so”? These didn’t end up sounding the way the person intended. I mean, a “borganism”? That sounds way less than beneficial.

It’s not too bad, of course. The practice has some practical application. For instance, if a person was alternately running and resting, that person could combine the two words and tell people, “I’m resting,” by which the people would know about the running/resting, only with fewer words.

It’s good to conserve your breath when you have an active lifestyle.

Have you heard of the “gelectric” car? No? Probably because it makes more sense to call it a hybrid. Gas/electric would have been fine too. Do you think it saved them anything (time, money) to try combining the two words?

One of the most infamous combinations is “chillax” which was supposed to be chill and relax all smashed together. It just ends up looking and sounding like some kind of pharmaceutical name. And yes, big pharma is the worst perpetrator of ugly word combinations. They’re so bad at it, we should just start calling them what they really are: “smaller than they say they are” pharma. Or, if we smashed it: “smarma”.

Published by Kurt Gailey

This is where I'm supposed to brag about how I've written seven novels, twelve screenplays, thousands of short stories, four self-help books, and one children's early-reader, but I'd rather stay humble. You can find out about things I've written or follow my barchive (web archive, aka 'blog) at or follow me on twitter @kurt_gailey. I love sports and music and books, so if you're an athlete or in a band or you're a writer, give me a follow and I'll most likely follow you back. I've even been known to promote other people's projects.

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