30 April 2007

"Stunnel" enters the English language

One of my hobbies is language, languages, and the grammar and etymology that goes along with it. For instance, I really like words that entered the English language as someone's name, like "sandwich" or "boycott."

I'm hopeful then that I've succeeded in creating a new word. As some of you might remember, I have christened the proposed tunnel under the Bering Strait, the "Stunnel." I admit, it's not the nicest sounding of words but given the history of naming tunnels under bodies of water by combining the name of the body of water with the word tunnel (e.g. "Chunnel"), I figured it was the only option.

Last week, I was speaking with the governor off-record and asked her if she'd heard from her friend Wally Hickel about his trip to Russia to learn more about the Stunnel. In the course of that conversation, I mentioned how I had started calling it the "Stunnel" and she laughed.

The next day, at a press conference for the Sonya Ivanoff bill-signing, I decided the best way to get my new word to enter the English language would be to get someone in a position of power to use it. So I asked her the same question about Wally Hickel - on record - and she said:

I am sure that he will want to talk to me about the Chunnel, tunnel...
at which I prompted her with "Stunnel" and she continued
Stunnel, yes, as Jesse calls it, I'm anxious to talk to him about it. He's a visionary.
Admittedly, it's not the ideal since she did attribute it to me but at least she said it. Now, if I can just get the ADN or KTUU to use that cut, it'll be official.


First Alaskan Man said...

I have my fingers crossed for you. Let's hope no one borks it.

Coldfoot said...

Not to one-up you, but no one believes me anyway:

I take credit for first using the word "cheese ball" as a derogatory term when referring to another person, ie "You're such a cheese ball!"

First used it about 20 years ago in the Army. Within a day it was being used within my unit regularly, within a week I overheard guys from other units using the term. (This was in Germany, so "guys from other units" means guys who were not stationed at the same location as me.)

Within a year I heard the term on TV.

I take credit. Prove me wrong.