Who Makes Words: The History

Who makes words? This is a question that has puzzled people for centuries. Is it the author who creates the story, or the reader who brings it to life? In this informative article, we will explore the history of words and how they are made.

Who Makes Words?

Many people think that the ancient Egyptians [1] were the first to develop a written language. However, the first known form of writing originated in Mesopotamia, in the city of Uruk. This script, known as cuneiform, was developed by the Sumerians around 3400 BCE. At first, the Sumerians would make small tokens out of clay representing goods they were trading. Later, they began to write these symbols on clay tablets. 

Cuneiform was used throughout the ancient world and was particularly popular in Mesopotamia. 


Who Decides What is a Word?

To decide which words to include in the dictionary and to determine what they mean, Merriam-Webster editors study the language as it’s used. They carefully monitor which words people use most often and how they use them. The editors look for words that appear frequently in a wide variety of sources, including newspapers, magazines, books, websites, and transcripts of speech and television. 

They also take note of new words and new uses of existing words. Once a word has been selected for inclusion in the dictionary, the editors research its history and meaning. They consult earlier dictionaries and other reference works, as well as literature, newspapers, and magazines from different periods. They also examine how the word is used in different regions of the country. 

In addition, they consult experts in various fields to learn about technical and specialized vocabulary. The result of all this research is a dictionary entry that provides clear, concise definitions of a word’s current meaning and usage.

What Makes a Word Real?

Language is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the people using it. While some words become popular and enter the mainstream, others remain confined to small groups or specific regions. The decisions about which words to use are largely made by the people who need them, which means that words often come into existence to fill a particular void. In many cases, these new words are simply a more efficient way of communicating an existing concept. 

Other times, they are used to describe something that has never been seen or experienced before. Regardless of their origin, all words are real if they are being used by a community of speakers who understand their meaning. While some words may eventually fall out of use, as long as they are serving a purpose, they are real.


Where Do Our Words Come From?

The vast majority of new words in the English language are not actually new words at all, but rather existing words that have been given new meanings. This process is called semantic change, and it happens all the time as the English language evolves to meet the needs of its speakers. For example, the word “silly” used to mean “blessed” or “holy,” but over time its meaning shifted to describe someone who was foolish or childish. 

Similarly, the word “nice” once meant “foolish” or “silly,” but now describes someone who is pleasant or kind. These semantic changes can happen in a single generation, and they help to keep the English language flexible and alive. In addition to semantic change, new words can also be formed by changing the grammatical function of an existing word. For example, the verb “Google” was derived from the noun “googol,” meaning a very large number. 

By changing the word to a verb, we created a new way to describe the act of searching for information online. Finally, new words can also be created by combining different parts of speech. The word “smog” is a combination of smoke and fog, two things that are often found together in urban areas. Similarly, the word “brunch” is a combination of breakfast and lunch, two meals that are often eaten at the same time. 

By combining these different parts of speech, we create new ways to describe the world around us.

How Did Words Start?

That’s a question that has baffled linguists for centuries. One theory, known as the Gestural Theory, suggests that human language developed from gestures that were used for simple communication. This theory is supported by two types of evidence. First, gestural language and vocal language depend on similar neural systems. The regions on the cortex that are responsible for mouth and hand movements border each other. This suggests that these two forms of communication share a common ancestor.


Second, children who are deaf often learn to communicate using gestures before they learn to sign. This again suggests that gestures are the foundation of human language. So next time you’re having a conversation, take a moment to think about how amazing it is that you can communicate your thoughts and feelings using nothing but sounds and gestures. It’s a truly remarkable feat of human evolution.


In conclusion, there is no one person or organization who can be said to make words. Instead, words are created by the community of speakers who use them. They are real if they are understood by the people who use them, and they come from existing words or by combining different parts. 

The Gestural Theory states that human language developed from gestures, and this is supported by the fact that vocal and gestural language depends on similar neural systems.

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