Missing Words

One rarely examined assuption is that we have enough words to go round. We can discuss this and that while treating each word as referring to contrasting underlying things, each with their own unity. I doubt this assumption. Our discussions are often spoiled by words that mean too many things, even in context. Especially when a word is used enthusiastically, to erase distinctions. This page aspires to be about words that are flat out missing. But it has ended up full of splits, useful when an existing word has too many meanings, or gathers up cases that need to be split.

Inventing a pair of words

Tower-jumpers + arm-whirlers

Before the Wright brothers invented heavier than air powered flight, there were two traditions. Some "invented" wings, strapped them on, and jumped off a tower. Others used the whirling arm aparatus (a predeccessor of the wind tunnel, cheaper, easier to build, hard to use) to systematically investigage lift and drag

The distinction matters because it is tempting to place too much faith in requiring decision makers to have skin in the game. The tower-jumpers have skin in the game, but still make bad decisions.

Splitting one word into two

Capitalism = Fragpowmop + Confincap

Fragmented private ownership of the means of production.
FRAGmented Private Ownership of the Means Of Production

Consolidated Financical Capitalism.
CONsolidated FINancicial CAPitalism.

Free market = pragmarket + momarket

Pragmarket is the pragmatic side. Using prices mechanisms to organise industrial production.

Momarket is the moral aspect. Using price mechanisms to decide which products are legitimate

Tolerance = biztol + chartol

Think about the end of the thirty years war. Protestants agree to tolerate Catholics. Catholics agree to tolerate Protestants. It is a business deal. We'll give up Iconoclasm if you give up Integralism. Call is "business tolerance". Shorten that to biztol.

But one might also tolerate others as an act of charity, expecting nothing in return. Call that chartol. Which may prove to be paradoxical and self-defeating.

Globalisation = bi-globalisation + tri-globalisation

We consider three interest groups.

  1. Consumers
  2. Producers
  3. Rival producer in a different country to 1 and 2
but the politics are different, depending on whether there are two countries involved, bi-globalisation, or three countries involved, tri-globalisation.

Taller = Zebraffe Taller + Prefop Taller

When we say that "Giraffe are taller than Zebra" and "Men are taller than women" we use the same gramatical construction and use the same word for the population comparison. The word is "taller" which conceals that we are comparing the populations in two different ways.

Zebraffe comparatives apply to populations, giraffes and zebras, where the shortest giraffer is taller than the tallest zebra. No overlap. No room for misunderstanding.

Prefop comparatives admit pairing up individuals from the two groups. Think of a match maker making couples that are the same height. Rather predictably the match making will get off to a good start and then falter with a residue of tall men and short women. Think of this as a predictable failure of pairing. Pick out some letters PREdictable Failure Of Pairing to make a word "prefop".

Defensive Alliance = Chaining Alliance + Isolating Alliance

May I can write that "defensive = chaining + isolating"? I'm stacking neologisms, inventing square rooting to help explain alliances

this has happened before = restrep + maytip

Intelligence/rationality = modanra + sidlelore

error = false positive + false negative

life span = health span + grim span

free market = triple compromise accomodation + bourgeoise bargaining

censorship = monocensorship + bicensorship

Can the censors use their power to censor criticism of censorship? If there is no counter weight, this is monocensorship. But a common argument in favour of censorship anticipates that the benefit comes from protecting the young. If for example, every-one over forty gets to see and hear everything, allowing a large body of elders to oversee the operation of the censor's office, this system has two centers of power. We call it bi-censorship.

Splitting two words into three

subjective + objective = individual + situational + transcendental

This one is about a controversy in the theory of Bayesian Statistics. and is explained in an essay Is Bayesian probability individual, situational, or transcendental: a break with the usual subjective/objective bun fight.

Splitting one word into three

Normal + weird = solid-normal + cozy-weird + out-there-weird

My intention here is to split normal, and relabel weird. So

normal = solid-normal + cozy-weird

. Thus the cozy-weird passes as normal because it is cozy. Which is hard to explain; if something is genuinely cozy-weird, people won't get it. They will just say: No, that is normal.

nationalism = expanding empire nationalism + Maginot line nationalism + inner harmony nationalism

immigration = assortative seeking + human homogenisation + cultural conquest

Assortative seeking is when misfits move to be with people like themselves. They seek out their own kind.

Human homogenisation is when migrants bring their own culture with them, leading to a homogenious world where every country is a mix of many different cultures and every country is similar to every other country.

Cultural conquest is when migranst bring their own culture with them and erase the native culture.