If you could add a single word to the English language, what would it be?

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 June, 2012, 12:00am


Zareen Chiba, 18, Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong

It hits everyone at some point of their lives, regardless of race, religion or age. I've seen clothes, homework, and phones being ruined by its embrace: 'sprackle' (noun), for the wave of water that hits you when a bus or car drives over a puddle of rainwater. The word has a nice sound that reminds you of water splashing on something. I think I'm going to start using it from today.

Martin Chow, 18, Hang Seng School of Commerce

Pan-Chinaism. Unlike Pan-Germanism or Pan-Americanism, this new word has little to do with the country itself. It is not about China spreading influence around the world, but rather, its people. What we see today are hordes of Chinese sweeping across the world, buying up all the luxury goods on their way. This is a phenomenon significant enough to deserve some attention - and a word.

Thichachon Jaipakdee, 17, St Paul's Convent School

'YOLO' is an acronym for 'you only live once'. This is similar to other mottoes like 'you've only got one chance to live'. People often use such phrases to persuade friends to take risks or do things they normally wouldn't do. But too much thinking will only make you more scared of the activity: you may even develop a phobia towards it. Why not just do what your heart tells you to? That's what YOLO is all about.

Elise Choi Ho-yee, 18, Sai Kung Sung Tsun Catholic School (Secondary Section)

I would definitely add the word 'unfriend'. This word is popular among Facebook users. Also, it was chosen as the word of the year by New Oxford American Dictionary. For an English user, this word can be easy to understand without an explanation, as long as you know the word 'friend' and the use of 'un'. This word is so significant that even singer Greyson Chance uses it for his song Unfriend You.

Yasmin Subba, 16, Sha Tin College

'Mamihlapinatapai' is a real word used by the Yaghan people, of South America. It is used to describe 'a look between two people expressing a mutual desire for the other to initiate something they both want, but neither want to start'. A simple example of this would be two people in love, who don't want to tell each other! There is a lot about life that English is still unable to convey.

Mizuki Nishiyama, 13, Canadian International School

If I was going to add to the English language, I would choose the word 'glambitious'. It is because I believe lots of girls my age overuse words such as perfect, beautiful, glamorous and extravagant! One of my favourite words is glamorous. So how about we make a statement! Instead of saying, 'You are so glamorous!', you could say, 'You are so glambitious!'

Doris Lam, 15, St Margaret's Co-educational English Secondary and Primary School

LOL! That's hilarious: I'm sure all of you have heard that line before. We teenagers nowadays use short forms so much that we actually treat them as real words. One of the short forms is 'LOL', which stands for 'laugh out loud'. We use the word so casually that sometimes we don't even notice it! LOL.