To Gougueuliser is a Non Non in French

You spend what seems like a lifetime perfecting French verbs, days speed speaking in expensively-accented Parisian cafes and then ouf up pops a book claiming half your hard-won vocabulary does not exist!  

The Non-Non of French words is what this dictionary is all about

Authors Jean-Loup Chiflet and Nathalie Kristy have just released a pocket work that is rapidly becoming the bane of the chatterati.

It’s called “The Dictionary Of Words That Do Not Exist, Yet Which We Use Anyway”. This carefully contrived compilation turns out to be a bear trap for the branché young media and innovation savvy teccies happy to pepper conversation with the sort of trendy anglicismes, that only those in the know, know.

Or the irritatingly erudite broadcaster who taunts his audience with what sounds like a very full and proper francisme only, as it tuns out,  to be debunked by Chiflet and Kristy as, well, little short of a fraud.

What’s to be made then of these samples of newly fashioned literary or journalistic excess ? Any idea for instance of what they mean or where they came from?

Well the troublesome trilogies can all be found in the handy guide  shown above but not, we hasten to add, in any conventional dictionary. Words like: chronophage, procrastiner, aéropage, stabiloter, acter, sécure, epsilonesque, premier-ministrable, volumiser.

Worse far worse, are those anglicismes déplorables abominablement francisés , the deplorable Anglicisms that have been abominably badly Frenchified: “délivrable” for one and derivations such as “gougueuliser” or “stabiloter” – journalistic fantasies or inventions such as “représidentialiser” or “premier-ministrable”Then there are the bold, ambitious, daring even, inventions of brilliant or mad literary or musical minds, words that have arrived thanks to thought and reality contortionists, words like for instance: morvodrome, a tyrannozapeur or a tabarasiteAnd if you want to know what these mean,  you will just have to gougueuliser for them, on naturally. (Hint: morvodrome is the partie du visage située en le bas du nez et la lèvre supérieur. Let you imagination run rife!)

For dear reader, these are all words that simply do not exist; words that have never wormed their way past the grande inquisitors of that pre-eminently venerable and learned French body on matters of language — L’Académie française; are not to be found in any normal dictionary and are quite simply inacceptable.

Even if you and others prone to using them, believe they ought to exist, they have not passed the formal language acceptance test and thus mon cher ami will languish in language-limbo until further notice or at least until an academician relents and chooses to pick them up , savour them, prod them, taste them and then spittoon them out into the true world of language.

So there you have it, want the un-burnished truth? Grab yourself this dictionary and start unlearning. 

Le dictionnaire des mots qui n’existent pas
Jean-Loup Chiflet,
Littérature humoristique
Livre format poche
Editeur : Pocket
Edition : 01/09/1999
Langue : Français150 pages (95 g)


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