Shiva Neupane (Melbourne)
The act of compiling a dictionary is one of the fascinating and intellectually-daunting tasks for a lexicographer who works around the clock. I as a writer do consider the act of compiling a dictionary is something that makes someone linguistically fulfilling in what they do. To my mind, compiling a dictionary really requires a hell of a lot painstaking effort and exhaustive research.
The Language is very interesting subject to ponder over how it came to being a medium through which our thoughts and ideas get propagate. We couldn’t imagine the world without language. The world would be eccentrically boring without the existence of language. The language has been the lifeline for the human civilization since time immemorial to exchange the ideas and thoughts. Since my childhood I have been reading internationally acclaimed books and dictionaries. As an avid reader I am constantly curious about how language plays a pivotal role in our life when it comes to exchange our ideas. Indeed, language is a lexical-utopia for our arcane thoughts to perch on it. In my speculation, the origin of language certainly owes an explanation for how language became the fabric of sound in the first place.
Take a hard look; had there not been any sound, we would not have been able to tailor the language by clothing our thoughts. The systematic patterns of sounds and noises have clothed our thoughts and for which we named it as Language. To me, language itself is a soulless entity if sound has no part to play. For example; we do say to our teacher “May I come in sir” to say this, we make the patterns of sounds in an orderly fashion. The primitive stage of language is noise because it is a raw entity from which the tapestries of words get embroidered sequentially through the rigorous and neurological programming of our mind.
There are many words emerging in the wake of covid-19. One of the most intriguing words for me is “Covidiot”. This means a person who ignores social distancing rules.
I have decided to include Covidiot in my dictionary. The criterion for any words to be selected in the dictionary is the global popularity or the greater influence that they get. There are dozens of internationally acclaimed dictionaries in which we get to know the meaning of this word “Covidiot”. The word Covid-19 became the verbal- Empire of the current world which is why it makes its linguistic-colony in the dictionaries in the various forms such as Covexit, Blursday, Covideo party, flatten the curve, Social distancing, Coronageddon Coronapocalypse and Covidiot
The word “Yoga” is now globally accepted and become a colloquial word in English speaking countries. However, most of the global people do not know the root of this word that goes back to Hinduism. Therefore, the beauty of compiling a dictionary really teaches a person more about historical, cultural, political and other dimensions of knowledge.
A person needs to learn the etymological- surgery to make language survive in the dictionary that they compile by being a linguistic-surgeon.
Shiva Neupane, is the author of Falang English Dictionary, In the Pursuit of Utopian Life in Australia, Falang Food Dictionary, My waves, The Elixir of my Voice. His articles have been appeared in the Australian mainstream newspaper “The Age”, the national daily of Nepal “The Himalayan Times” and the scores of other media outlets. He can be contacted at [email protected]