Save the words: a campaign to keep endangered words from going extinct

Ransom Riggs

There are around 60,000 words in the English language, but today almost everything we say and write is communicated using only about 7,000 of them. Every year, hundreds of underused and forgotten words are dropped from the dictionary. Once hard-working and meaningful words are dying a death of lonely neglect just because we choose to embiggen our vocabularies with cromulent neologisms rather than turning the the tried-and-true language of our forebears. It's totes whack, yo.

But what can you do? The folks who publish the Oxford English Dictionary have come up with one possible solution: a campaign to save the words. On their totally cute website, you pick an endangered word and are encouraged to sign a pledge promising to work it into your everyday communication as much as possible. My word is vectarious -- which the spell-check I'm using right now doesn't even recognize -- an adjective meaning belonging to a wagon or carriage. I could use it this way, for instance: "My vectarious trip around Central Park was quite pleasant until I stepped down from the wagon and into a mound of horse manure." Or perhaps I could use it in reference to a Radio Flyer wagon. The possibilities are literally endless. Sort of.

What word will you adopt? Check out save the words, adopt one, and use it in the comments!