Monday, September 23, 2013

Delumination (WOK Blog Entry #4: Words that are or should be)

The English Language is a funny thing.  It grows.  It changes.  Grammar shifts.  Words are created, made obsolete, made new.  Members of my critique group have called me out on archaic terms more than once.  They're always right, even when they're wrong.  After all, an archaic term in an archaic world?  Totally okay.  (Even if the words totally and okay are not).  Take that archaic term and push it out to the year 3095?  Unless you're going for a post-apocalyptic Victorian cross-breed...then maybe you need to update the vocab.  (And, yes, I anticipate "vocab" will be all the rage in 3095).

I have been on both ends of that spectrum.  What can I say?  I like old words.

This one is new.  It's not a real word, not yet.  But it has made its way into the Urban Dictionary (, edging one step closer toward the ultimate goal of making the Oxford or Webster.  After all, if muggle can make it...why not delumination?

Delumination.  The act of making dark.  To dim.  To diminish.  To obscure. 

Perhaps you wonder why we need a word such as "delumination."  After all, we do have those other words, wonderful words...dim, diminish, darken.  I like them all.  And they even start with the letter "d."

I suppose it's connotation for me.  I think of lights dimming.  I think of life diminishing.  I think of the night darkening into the delicious deeps of Winter.  I think of those words as somehow gentler than I intend delumination, a moderate action, a graduated incline. 

Delumination, for me, is the overt act; it is the sudden dark, the idea made moot, the heart stopped mid-beat on a Tuesday. 

This is, perhaps, an arbitrary distinction.  Can you really assign connotation to a made-up word?  I can, have, do.  It is, after all, my blog.  I'm allowed to be arbitrary.  That's half the fun, right? 

Blogger's Note:  

A short post tonight, and a confession.  I debated delumination.  I wondered if there was a better word for "d," a word that didn't have such wonderful (and dictionary-proven) synonyms.  But it was, again, the first word (non-word?) that came to mind when I thought about "d"...accompanied by thoughts of the Phantom of the Opera (the musical)...that opening line:  "Maybe we can frighten away the ghosts of so many years ago with a little...ILLUMINATION!"  

A burst of light and then...darkness!  

And I thought, wow, how awesome is that?  The contrast between the words spoken and the true intent of the actors instead invite those old ghosts (or their stories) with the delumination of the house-lights, stage-lights, a sudden dark like that last breath before hitting the water.

Yes, I like musicals.  And I just went on vacation to New York.  Can we say Broadway?  Hmm?

So...delumination.  Not real...not yet.  But maybe someday?  


  1. I don't know what your critique group submissions are, but if you like the word, you like it! Critique groups suggest changes only for your consideration, right? I know that sometimes I use a word like "plethora" instead of "many" but if it sounds like the right word, I don't change because a reader or two doesn't like it. And yes, I like Broadway and musicals., too. My wife is from NYC so we have reasons to visit and catch shows often.

    1. My submissions ran the gamut but the critique group is awesome. I don't mind being called out on the archaic terms. In my fantasy endeavors, at least in the particular world I'm working in, the archaic terms are appropriate and - you're right - critical comments are just I leave them. But, at the same time, I'm also working on some projects where those words don't fit real well. I have a couple modern-day pieces and a couple futuristic sci-fi wips. The archaic comes naturally to me so it is helpful to have them pointed out so I can do a re-think.

      That said...I love the word's fun to say, it's unusual and it's more distinctive than "many."

      As for NYC...I enjoyed myself but it's definitely a little too crowd-intensive for my tastes. Top-notch theatre though. If I ever go back, it'll be for that reason...Broadway, Broadway, Broadway. If you and your wife go regularly, I am jealous in the extreme.

      Thanks for reading! :-)

  2. I love "delumination", it makes perfect sense. I don't think you should apologize for any of your posts. I love the creativity and thought that goes into each one.

    I was in NYC in 1975 with my high school Thespian club. We saw four Broadway plays, plus were in Times Square when the ball dropped and welcomed in 1976. An amazing city that never sleeps. Someday I hope to go back.

    1. If I go back some day, it's definitely for the theatre...but it must have been AMAZING to see the ball drop! :-)

  3. I instantly thought of Dumbeldore and was itching to read further. I like the sudden (normally fake) screams from people when you turn out the lights in a building or if the power goes out. I think that lends well to you definition of delumination.

    1. There's always a couple real ones mixed in I can tell when it's more a squawk than a! Thank you for commenting!