Food for our Minds and Spirits: All Words are Made Up

I have a love/hate relationship with the game Scrabble (or Words with Friends, if you play it online). Words are so much fun, and a game that invites you to create a big crossword puzzle without clues with friends––it’s one of those games where there are points and you can win against others, but also, the board that emerges is part of a collaboration. You did that together––Words with Friends, is right!

But, I also struggle because I really like making up words. Or, to put it differently, I like the way that language is never restricted by rules, and invites creativity and invention. This is something my teachers growing up hated, and something that got me not a small amount of grief from my classmates. But even so, I haven’t given up the habit. And I felt so affirmed when the blockbuster movie Avengers: Infinity War had the character Thor retort to someone who said he had used a made-up word, “All words are made up.”

I know we have to pull out a dictionary to play Scrabble. But maybe we should put it away in our day-to-day lives. Throw some suffixes onto words that don’t usually get them and see what you come up with: maybe something is great, but flawed, so its “awesomeish.” Maybe you find the need to describe the “tirefication” that is built into long road trips. A few years ago, “to zoom” meant to go fast. Now it means to sit in a meeting.

Words are meant to communicate, and being creative with our words allows us to communicate all kinds of things that maybe don’t show up in a Scrabble dictionary. Getting practice making up words is a good step to being able to see the world in a bigger way, and even to start imagining a different world that we could all make up together.

Sometimes it is hard to tap into our spiritual selves or find time to nurture our creativity and intellectual curiosity. Here is a section that reflects on some nourishing materials from around the web and related media channels in order to get us thinking, get us feeling, and get us reflecting on the lives we are living in this big world. **Some Adult/Mature Themes May Appear in Links and Other Attached Material**


Allan T. Georgia, MDiv, MTS, PhD