04 October 2011

Delving into the Custom Dictionary

During one of the more boring moments at work I was writing up a word document when a squiggly little red line informed me that it had little to no idea what I was trying to say (I was saying ‘Guinnessland’ that particular time, so I'm not surprised). But as I am wont to do, I added the word to my custom dictionary, and kept on writing my emails. Then as the work died down, and my propensity for procrastination took over, it got me thinking.
I use my personal dictionary a lot. Of late I have even been entering in misspelt word just for the heck of it; whether this is latent mischievousness laid out for the unwitting persons who inherit my computer, or if I just find it quicker to skip some corrections in a spell check, I don’t know. But the fact remains; I was bored and thinking of my custom dictionary. I decided to track it down, and after a quick windows search, had the small text file in my virtual hands.
It contained 507 entries, many of which were the standard and expected values, however there were a bunch of quirky, or random entries that really got me thinking. As I read further I began organising them in my head, and was amused to see how a small picture of the person I am could be built out of such a thing. So for my own amusement, and now perhaps dear reader for your own curiosity, I have compiled a few interesting examples below.

As a highlight of my dislike in giving predictions of when I will do things I have added 4ish, 5ish, and Soonish

There are the expected references to new companies, websites or programs which enter the cultural zeitgeist a bit quicker than Microsoft Word can follow, such as BitTorrent, facebook, Gizmodo, GoodReader, Lifehacker (Note there is not mention of tweet or twitter as they are their own words already); not to mention new products weaselling their way into my lexicon like the ubiquitous iPad and iPhone.

There are the ones I just have plain no idea why I added them (though I imagine it was the same source of much of my office ‘work’; boredom), the prime example being Alakfhlahvfoisg.

Word is never good at picking up any onomatopoeia in writing, especially those with an undefined length, so I did my best to cover some random ones, such as:
Hmmmm, Hmmmmm, Hmmmmmm, Hmmmmmmm, Mmmmmm, Mmmmmmm, Numnumnumnum, Ummm, wooo, Wooo, Urgh, Booyah
(Note the capital ‘Wooo’ appears distinct from the lowercase ‘wooo”. This must have been important at some time)

There were things that I have since had to look up again to understand why I added them, like Haufniensis, a pseudonym used by Søren Kierkegaard in writing some of his philosophical works. Or Centaurus, a group of stars which for some reason warranted not only their conclusion in something I was writing, but the added safety of including their spelling in future missives. And even ones like parsimology, which though it sounds awfully important, I'm still not quite sure what it is.

I mentioned the odd movie, TV show, or character, which found its way to the mathewonary including Borat, Caddyshack, Dragonball, Hellboy, and Rainman
(Note: mathewonary is now also in the mathewonary; so it is a self-referential beast now)

Some obscure technical words like Necrocracy, Correlogram, Eigenvalues and Compatibilism came in usually from me doing a bit of homework in my spare time. Or some less than technical words snuck in, including weeing or Thingie. Not to mention the almost oxymoronic Thinkability.

A bunch of words I made up by a quick addition or extrapolation also found their way in, under a heading which itself also comes from the list; Mathewisms like Guinnessland or Liztastic.

There was also a lot of slang, or jargon (is that the right usage of the word? I highly doubt it), or generally just words I apparently use a lot but aren’t quite proper English, like Gotta, Idiotish, Indeedy, killin, nerding, or problemo.
(Note: the ‘killin’ entry shouldn’t be cause for concern; it combines with the ‘nerding’ term, in the sense that I am sometimes ‘nerding it up doing some killin on the xbox’.)

Sometimes words just need that extra bit of emphasis, as evidenced buy the inclusion of Cooooooooool and neeeeeeed in my custom lexicon.

Peoples names inevitably found their way in, whether they be famous individuals which shed some light on those I may admire (Dawkins, Gervais, Hitchens), parents and friends (Harley, Hutchy, Harrison (the number of times Word suggested I meant to call my son ‘Garrison’ seemed to turn into an insult)) or even my own name, which everyone in the world constantly suggests to me is missing that superfluous extra 't' (Mathew).

Then there were the oddballs. Like the twitter tag GamerDadLikes, the adjective that most people would like to avoid (Hitleresque), the worrying inclusion of the verb Sweatingly, the Orwellian Thoughtcrimes, or the just plain strange presence of the suspect profession; xenobiologist.

And thus ends the strange expedition into my custom dictionary.
Thanks for stopping by.

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