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A neologism is a new word or phrase that has not yet entered common parlance. It is compounded from the Greek roots neo (meaning new) and logos (meaning, more intricately, word). Whoever coined the term neologism did not have the first example.

Logos originally meant spoken word or utterance, until Heraclitus used it to signify “order and knowledge.”  The Word has deep roots in philosophy and religion.  Esoterics hold it to be the divine principle, the source of being. Cartesians call it rationality, in the empirical sense.  In modern English, logs and ologies are key scientific suffixes. Philip K. Dick in his biographical Exegesis describes Logos as the informatic principle underlying reality, expressing itself through DNA and transubstantiating the material universe through evolutionary processes. He said the Logos also had a personal aspect and could take human form. Dick was deeply biblical. He also did a lot of drugs.

Anyway, what I want to say is “we’re all human.”  We’re trying to get along, but sometimes two syllables is a mouthful. Can’t we just say we are man?  I’m a man, you’re a man? Everybody is man? At this point you could be thinking I’m actually a pig.  But my proposal isn’t that sexist.

In fact, the word woman is rather sexist in itself. Sticking an appendage on an already masculine term and using it to describe your wedded wife or ladyservant is so Middle English. Like Adam’s rib in Eden, woman derives from man.  Now that’s sexist.  And it’s wrong.  Having one (short) word for our humanity would be equalizing and empowering.

(And we could of course keep terms to describe differences in sex and gender. Male and female. Boy and girl. Him and her. Uncategorized.)

(You can’t have science without language. The study of language was rather deftly named linguistics, because saying logology makes people laugh.  The study of neologisms could be called neologology but that’s a different story.)

Comments

  1. #1 John McKowen
    Flint, Michigan
    July 12, 2012

    You make some good points, but I think “female” has the same problem “woman” has. And calling everyone ‘man sounds like the traditional man. I wouldn’t want to call a woman “man”. I suggest using the term “dude”. Girls and women already use the term with each other.