January 1, 2007


compatchment: a thing patched together n.
"a speech that was kind of a ridiculous compatchment of platitudes"
--The Endangered English Dictionary: Bodacious Words your Dictionary Forgot, David Grams.

Bloggin' John Comments:
• For circumstances that are judgmentally neutral or positive, patchwork works just fine: "The south wall of his apartment is a patchwork of brightly colored watercolor paintings."
• For circumstances that are judgmentally negative, compatchment can add a bit of an edge: "The essay was only a compatchment of plagiarized platitudes."
• I fully admit I've framed the patchwork sentence with positive details and the compatchment sentence with negative ones. But notice how the meaning of patch shifts from being an aesthetic element of an artwork in patchwork to being merely a neutral part of some functional construction in the compatchment sentence. Compatchment ends with the suffix -ment, which means the result of an action--the result of which is an object that may or may not carry artistic value or meaning.

No comments:

Post a Comment