ELEI: English Language Expansion Initiative
Another project our lab has been involved with is the English Language Expansion Initiative, or ELEI. Currently, there exists a dearth of words that are sufficient for describing the emotions and events that pervade our everyday life. This "linguistic gap" between what we want to say and what we can currently express urgently needs to be addressed, witness the rise of words such as "google" (verb form), "blog", and "pwned" (pronounced "'Ond"). As such, we have begun a collaboration (with primary focus on Appalachia and New England area researchers) to address this linguistic gap. The process occurs in three distinct phases: insufficiency identification, novel neologism, and persistent propagation.
Just as a widget is useless without a task, we must first identify what thoughts, ideas, and concepts are without representative utterances.
The creation of new words distinct from traditional language is a difficult, time-consuming endeavor that requires painstaking effort. Our lab's protocol allows for streamlined creation, verification, and alteration in both feedback and feedforward loops.
This is perhaps the most important part of the process, as a word does not enter the national lexicon, or even the local vernacular, until it has spread sufficiently. Our group's proprietary Electronic Massively Alterable Instantaneous Letter-Letter Interaction Spreading Technique has proven surprisingly effective.
Perhaps our most famous recent success was the warm reception that the word "withstrain" has received, as evidenced by inclusion in many high-impact publications, including urbandictionary.com.
Other significant successes include successful propagation of less-commonly used phrases such as "inverse metabolic engineering" and "antimetabolite", as well as a host of other variously-capitalized abbreviations.
For any questions, please contact Keith Tyo, project lead and future PI for a proposed collaborative expansion of the project beyond its current geographical bounds.