October 30, 2006


Where do new words come from? This article from MED Magazine helps explain the process in which new words are adopted into everyday language.

“When we feel the lack of a word to express our meaning, there are a number of options available to us. The method most frequently used is affixation - the adding of a prefix, a suffix or both to an existing word to create a longer word that gets our meaning across. This comes naturally to us all from a very early age. It was through affixation that we got the adjective unbelievable. Somebody took the verb believe, added the suffix -able to create the adjective believable and then added the prefix un- to get unbelievable. It filled a gap that was felt in the lexicon and was adopted by others, becoming a common word in the language. Startlingly few new words (or neologisms) are created entirely from scratch, the overwhelming majority are created by recycling old words in this way.”

By this article, it could be said that "starkish" is an affixation of the word "stark" which according the the Oxford Dictionary means: "devoid of any qualifications or disguise or adornment: 'the blunt truth'; 'the crude facts'.

This in mind, would the correct definition of starkish be "anyone or anything exhibiting a sense of good proportion and taste but with all the 'crap' cut out"? Just leaving/showing the bare essentials necessary to exhibite a sense of good proportion and taste.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what about "anyone or anything exhibiting the bare nescessities of good style and taste"