like many academics, part of the reason i got into the business was for the opportunity to make up new words such as superorganic, mechanical solidarity, and structuration. unfortunately, google has now revealed how difficult it is to coin a completely new term these days. for example, i got 23,200 hits on the term wordsmithery just now, even though i'd never heard it or thought to use it until writing this entry.
i chose the username maledictorian a few years ago, in part, because a websearch showed that it had yet to make an appearance online. today, it drew 81,200 hits. such rapid diffusion makes it difficult for budding wordsmiths to craft new terms without triple compounding (e.g., nevertheless or electroguitarslinger) or resorting to the dread hyphen (chairperson-elect or socio-crimino-guitarslinger).
fortunately, the kids are undaunted. my daughter used the word mecklace to describe the men's necklace she bought for my birthday last year. i'd never heard the term before, but she didn't know whether it was original. today i walked out of the house in boots, jeans, a western snap-front shirt, and (of course) a mecklace. when i asked if it looked ok, she said "oh yeah -- you're ruralicious." with wordsmithing like that, she may have a future in sociology.