A Wordsmith is Me


English is a pretty good language. Awfully well-rounded. Lots of words. The Oxford English Dictionary has entries for 171,476 words in current use, plus a bunch of ones no one likes anymore.

But gaps exist. For example, what if you wanted an efficient way to describe that feeling you get about 4:00 in the afternoon when your brain feels like melting butter, and you know you have lots to do, but you just can’t stop yourself from slumping in front of your computer while you rearrange your desktop icons into more and more pleasing shapes? I wish there was a word for that, and if there were, I would use it.

But I digress.

The other day I found myself needing a good hearty word to describe the tendency (from which some suffer) to dabble in the fantastic. But however could a poor, butter-brained grad student describe himself efficiently with reference to a compulsive interest in all things speculative–science fiction, fantasy, and horror?

Easy. I have a certain specuclivity.

That has a nice ring to it, right? Sort of official sounding. Sort of impressive. Sort of see-wife-I’m-really-not-just-a-kid-who-won’t-grow-up-it’s-just-that-I’ve-got-this-kind-of-genetic-thing-and-I’m-pretty-much-a-tortured-artist-and-well-actually-I’m-pretty-happy-but-it’s-not-my-fault-so-I-should-pretty-much-try-to-be-a-genius-and-that-means-instead-of-going-out-on-a-date-we-should-stay-home-and–watch-the-Walking-Dead-cause-it’s-important-research-in-light-of-my-genetic-predestination.

So, without further ado:

Spec·u·cliv·i·ty, noun, plural -ties.

A natural or habitual inclination toward speculation, most commonly with reference to fictional endeavers. “Johnny does have a certain specuclivity, poor boy.”

Origin: 2011; Latin prōclīvitās, speculātīvus

Synonyms: affliction, compulsion, blessing

Antonyms: aversion, dullness

I invite you to join my quest to make this entry number 171,477 in the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary!