5th Grade Student’s Dictionary Lesson in Neologism: Word Creation

Are you “rependable”?

Unless you have participated in one of my What Color Is Your Brain? Programs, you will be wondering what “rependable” means.

In 1997, a 5th grader named Eric created this splendid word when his class was reading my book Princess Shayna’s Invisible Visible Gift. I enjoyed working with Eric’s teacher, Sue Lewis, and regularly visited her classroom. One day, as I entered his classroom,  Eric greeted me and exclaimed, “Mrs. Glazov, I am rependable!”

I told Eric I had never heard that word before and my Green Brain was curious to know the definition.

Eric proudly said, “I am a Yellow Brainer and it means means I am responsible, respectful, accountable, and dependable.”

“I love your word!” I replied.  “May use it and always acknowledge you?”

“Yes!” Eric  answered excitedly. Since Eric shared “rependable” with me, I have used his word in all my programs and given Eric attribution for his creativity. When I wrote What Color Is Your Brain?, I wanted to give Eric written attribution. However, I am sorry to say that neither Mrs.Lewis, nor I, remembered Eric’s last name.

Eric’s creation is called neologism. His newly coined term “rependable” has not yet appeared in the dictionary. However, I think each Brain Color would attempt to find the definition in their own particular way:

Yellow Brainers would say, “There is no such word”. Then they would search the dictionaries they own or call the library.

Blue Brainers would say, “What a creative idea.” Then they would ask someone they know if they knew what the word meant.

Green Brainers would say, “What an innovative combination of words.” However, they would research online to make sure what the definition was not in some obscure dictionary.

Orange Brainers would say, “What a clever expression!” They would not care about its origins and would have fun using the word.

Whether your Brain Color is Yellow, Blue, Green or Orange, feel free to use Eric’s word.
Please, remember to give him attribution for his neologism… “rependable“!

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