"It was only when I encountered the result of an error in proof," Lewis Carroll is quoted as saying, "that I realized to the full the possibilities of the language." A similar "error in proof" has brought fourth the world, churkle. Type graphically, its presence is explained easily enough, the linotyper had slipped, the second letter of the third row had been struck instead of the third key on the top. But the possibilities are endless:
"No sound was heard save a muffied churkle from the figure on the couch."
Or in the hands of Mrs. Wharion or Mrs, Rinshart;
"I never knew what love was until I met you, she churkled happily,"
A vista is opened into a vast field rich in a harvest of new words never reaped. It as certain members of the New York writing fraternity profess to believe, that mysterious future, the genius of the English language is really dead, who has the uncontested right to nominate himself its successor? The position is open to all comers. An era of independence is dawning every man for himself.
A Spanish man of letters once remarked that the most beautiful word in English is "cellar-door". With this impetus almost anything is possible. To begin with, down with the terrorism of such adjectives as "wonderful"' "great"' or "fascinating". They have dominated the vocabulary too long. Everything today is "wonderful" from elevators to engagement rings. There is no way out except by inventing a new word. Churkle will not fit in this place, why not "chirping"? It means no more than "wonderful" certainly and it has a refreshing sound.
People can be classified under three heads, which will get rid of the objectionable "fascinating". There are "linnets" (this is highly complimentary and has a pleasanter sound than "fascinating" anyway); there are 'pones" (this combines all the contemptuousness of "drone" with the heavy odium of "prune"); and there are "grusks" (any man would curl up and wither if he were called a "grusk" out of a clear sky).
These words are not final; with this new freedom at hand everyone has the opportunity to invent better ones for himself. Lewis Carroll's word "chortle" has already fought its way to a place in the dictionary, why not "churkle" or anything else? Instead of "rolling your own", "coin your own". Then, we shall be saved, temporarily at least, from the level of the six hundred word vocabulary of O. Henry's shop-girls, to which at the present rate we are fast descending.