Wednesday, February 28, 2007

CLAPTER: Word Sin or Genius?

I’ve always thought that certain words are lame, like the word lighted. I think the word lit makes much more sense, and it sounds better off the tongue. I don’t think I could ever say “Today I walked into the lighted corridor searching for the door to the bathroom”. I just think that sounds stupid. I think it sounds much more accurate to say “Today I walked down the lit corridor searching for the door to the bathroom”…don’t you?

Maybe not, but I do...and this is my blog…so nah.

Sometimes I even make up words, without knowing it. It’s like my brain understands all the rules and decides what would sound better in a given situation. It just creates a word, and then fires it along the neurons and pathways until it reaches my ever so gentle lips and spews it forth like it was lit from within me.

I once told a friend that he should listen to the sounds the crowd was making at a sporting event. I think the conversation went something like this:

Me: Do you hear that? Hear the beat?
PJ: What beat? You mean the crowd?
Me: Yeah, the crowd. They’re clapping. Hear that?
PJ: Yes. What of it?
Me: Listen to the rhythm. The clapter of the crowd has a rhythm to it. Weird.
PJ: Whoa, whoa…what?
Me: What?
PJ: Did…did you just say “clapter”?
Me: Yes?
PJ: What the hell is clapter?
Me: You know…the clapter…of the crowd. The sound it makes when you slap your hands together.
PJ: You mean “clapping”.
Me: No, clapter. It’s totally a word.
PJ: Um…no it’s not.
Me: Um…yes it is.
PJ: …
Me: When you hear somebody laughing, you say “I hear laughter.” It’s like the noun form of the word “laughing”. Same thing with clappingclapter is a noun derivation.
PJ: Dude, it is *so* not a word.
Me: Whatever, yes it is!
PJ: Do you want me to get a fucking dictionary?
Me: Fine! Prove me right, bitch!

(PJ gets a dictionary)

PJ: Show me clapter.
Me: Ok.

(me searching dictionary)

Me: … Huh. I’ll be damned, it’s not in here.
PJ: HA! Fucking told you so!
Me: Are you sure this dictionary is current?
PJ: What? Shut up. Clapter isn’t a word. Deal with it.
Me: Crap.

Ever since that event, I have done my best to convince people I’m right. I think the word totally makes sense. If you can say “laughter” why can’t you say “clapter” ? It makes no sense to me, that you can’t use that word.

Clapter should be a fucking word. I even have the definition as it should be printed in the dictionary:

Clapter (‘klap-t&r)
Function: Noun
Etymology: New English, from clapping derivation. No Old English roots.
1: a sound of or as if of clapping
1a: a sound of or as if of clapping, pl.
2: to show approval through the use of slapping one’s hands together

See that shit? It totally works.

I think clapter makes sense as a word. I think that it’s a conspiracy that it isn’t. Who makes up these rules, anyway? Who decided that it was ok to say “lighted” or “lit” interchangeably, but that “clapter” is a word sin?

Fuck that. Clapter should be a word.

I will bring as many people to my way of thinking as I can, and someday…you watch…it will be in the damn dictionary. PJ told me he's told this story before, and the results have been about 50/50 so far. That means that half of the people he's told this to are on my side.

Our numbers grow!



Callie said...

Ah - I can hear the sound of bloggers everywhere, uniting in clapter.

Or, would that be laughter?

Steven Novak said...

Clapter is a funlarious word. ;)


MsLittlePea said...

Clapter might just bring peace to the Middle East. My, my, you are a uniter.

Think Frustrated said...

It sounds like a VD. You got herpes? No, I got the Clapter.

Shanshu said...

callie: oh, it's totally united in clapter. if you listen, you can hear it.

steve: agreed. it's ricockulous.

littlepea: World peace and global domination are totally my mission statement.

Please replace "domination" with "happiness".

frustrated: LOL @ VD. I never thought of it that way, but now I do.


Kay said...

Yeah, not so much.

TrueJerseyGirl said...

I will begin using the word immediately.

My kid (3 years old) invented the word "lasternight" which to her means last night, because we say yesterday so why not lasternight? I think the word rocks and I use it all the time now. And my cousin invented the word "bandago" which means a band that was popular a long time ago. As in, remember Winger? They're such a bandago.

The dictionary is just totally lacking these days.

Ookami Snow said...

At the start of my classes this semester I do what I call "Catch Phrase of the Day" where I tell them some new word, or slang, and tell them what it means.

I think on Wednesday the Catch phrase of the Day will be 'clapter'. 'cept I may expand the meaning to all sounds that a crowd makes...

Anonymous said...

I have had the EXACT (conceptually) same scenario happen to me: middle of a conversation with the wife, used "clapter," she challenged me, I smugly whipped out the dictionary.... you know the rest.

Heck: if Billy Shakes could make the word "clumsy" out of thin air, then "clapter" should simply go into general usage...

Anonymous said...

The word Clapter was first used by Amanda Filipacchi in her 1993 novel Nude Men -- it was how the audience responded to the non-magical tricks of the avant-garde magician Laura... they roared with clapter

Anonymous said...

About 35 years ago, I mistakenly said clapter intead of applause. I thought it the same thing. My family brings it up to day.

Anonymous said...

I was in class this past week and it happened to me. I said clapter, and then froze. Oh yeah, and everyone called me out on the word...which is totally a word. I suffered with an extreme internal struggle for heart said clapter is a word and everyone uses mind said i was an idiot. Either way, I couldn't find it in the dictionary - which is ridiculous. And I haven't found much support from those around me yet...but I have faith.

Clapter. I'm with ya.

Marina said...

I agree! Clapter is a great word! Had the same conversation with my boyfriend just now!

Anonymous said...

I have long been convinced that clapter is a word...can't believe that it's not in the dictionary. I have had many an argument with people trying to tell me it's not a word. I thought it was just as common as laughter! ...I wonder where I heard it from, if no one else I know seems to think it's a word either?

Sherry said...

Dictionary or not, no one can tell me that clapter isn't a real word. I've been saying it since the 60s :)

Anonymous said...

I only got here to prove to my friend that clapter was a word.