Humpty Dumpty language


Humpty Dumpty language
n.
An idiosyncratic or eccentric use of language in which the meaning of particular words is determined by the speaker.
Example Citation:
"Nevertheless, it is hard not to see some Alice-in-Wonderland logic in action here. 'Good' advice cannot, except in Humpty Dumpty language, be better than 'best'."
— Philip Coggan, " 'Best advice' you might do better to ignore," Financial Times (London)
Notes:
This phrase probably derives from the following scene in Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass":
"There's glory for you!"
"I don't know what you mean by 'glory,' " Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't — till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!' "
"But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument,' " Alice objected.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."
"The question is, " said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty. "which is to be master — that's all."
Related Words: Category:
First of all, there is a separate BOOK, not an article (your use of quotation marks is wrong) called, ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS and that is where the Humpty Dumpty anecdote appears. It is NOT in the book, ALICE IN WONDERLAND.
YOu should have punctuated the final quote as follows:
...said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be..." etc.

New words. 2013.

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