Wordistry seeks creative new words at Imagine RIT Festival

School of Communication in College of Liberal Arts hopes to engage students, visitors

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The dictionary is full of words, yet there is room for new ones to be added every year.

So why not try to create a word that may be used in everyday vernacular?

That’s one goal of Wordistry, a language-creation contest for visitors to Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival on May 2.

The contest started three years ago as a way to engage area high school students to visit the School of Communication’s website, said David Neumann, professor of communication in RIT’s School of Communication. “Hopefully when they are on the website, they can learn about the advertising, journalism and communication degree programs,” he said.

Last year, the student who submitted the winning word was invited to Imagine RIT, where they received an iPad. And last year, a separate contest was held for visitors to Imagine RIT. About 50 submissions were received, Neumann said.

“Most people want to combine two words,” he said. “But coming up with a new word that means something is more difficult to do.”

Prior entries included “ignention,” pretending to listen to someone while actually ignoring them; “textversate,” to carry on a conversation via texting; and “techista,” one who always has the latest and greatest technology and feels the need to show off all of its new features.

Look for Wordistry at the Scholar’s Bench, near the Eastman Quad and Liberal Arts Hall. Students may also be roving around campus soliciting entries for the contest.

Visitors to the festival will be notified during the event and may win a prize, but Neumann wasn’t yet sure yet what that will be … call it a “surprizeprize.”