I'm a web developer, and I've created a framework to be used by other developers. I just want to give it a name, and I thought about creating a portmanteau word for it. I thought of combining simple and native, and to form simpletive pronounced /'simpeltiv/.

Can I ask about its correctness on EL&U? If not, is there any other site on StackExchange to ask it?

Update: By correctness, I'm talking about morphological rules, also phonetics and phonology of the made-up word.

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    There are observable differences in how readers process nonce-words like strounted and nfleriazlrjte. The former has more "wordness" to it, although its meaning is unclear. The latter looks like someone fell on a keyboard. And I think the difference between the two can be characterized.
    – user28567
    Nov 21, 2013 at 21:27
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    Could I suggest that answers to the implied question wait until it's asked in Main? Saeed, no-one seems to have objected. It might be a good idea to include a link to this question too.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Nov 21, 2013 at 22:16
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    This question may be of interest to you. I encourage you to look at other similar questions. We have quite a few about portmanteaux and neologisms. You should first see if they are helpful to you. Asking for naming help is off-topic, so you would have to be very careful about how you word your question.
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Nov 22, 2013 at 13:12
  • For what it's worth, I find the "simpletive" question itself interesting, and moreover would have a definite answer to give to it. Regrettably to me, only the metaquestion was asked, not the question itself! (Of course, the metaquestion is valid, too.)
    – thb
    Dec 4, 2013 at 4:05

1 Answer 1


What do mean by correctness? It's a made-up word; it can't be right or wrong. You would need to word the question to explicitly define what answers you expect.

You could ask whether your portmanteau word conjures its two constituents in the reader's mind [note that it's the reader's mind; most people — and certainly everyone here — will first encounter the word in writing].

You could ask whether your proposed pronunciation is reasonable. Since no-one will have heard the word before, they will have to imagine how it sounds for themselves. Ask whether their idea matches yours (which is implied in your question here, but make that explicit). Ask whether there are any rules which govern how your word might be pronounced.

You don't need to give much in the way of background. Questions about computer names tend to get stamped on, so don't make it quite so obvious. Concentrate on the English surrounding it.

How do I create a successful portmanteau word?

I've written a simple, native development framework, and as a name for it I've coined the portmanteau word simpletive.

  • Does simpletive conjure the two words I used to create it? (There's a clue in the first sentence.) If it doesn't, are there any rules which would help do so?

  • I would like that to be pronounced /'simpəlˌtiv/. Is that how you pronounced it to yourself, and if not, are there any rules which govern pronunciation of unfamiliar words?

It's not generally a good idea to have more than one question mentioned per post; but here you are asking about the mechanics of creating your word, and providing an example which should guide the answer about recognisability. You may find that someone answers one half and provides a link to an answer about the other half. That's fine, because your question is still a general pointer which joins things together.

By making the question general, How do I do this?, and not the specific Is this any good?, your question may be of use to others. This is a fundamental principle of SE questions. (You know that already; you're asking here! But I mention it so that this answer may be useful to others.)

Now that you have a sufficiently general, but ultimately helpful, question, make sure that no-one has asked something similar before. In this case, the automated suggestion system doesn't find one, so you may be OK.

  • PS: You might guess from my proposed question that the answer to both parts is, unfortunately, No. But that means it's a good example because it provides a hook on which to write about general principles.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Nov 21, 2013 at 8:36
  • That actually makes for an interesting question, especially the pronunciation part.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 21, 2013 at 9:17
  • @AndrewLeach, such a helpful answer. Thank you. At last, can I ask it, even in case that your answer to both questions is no? If you don't mind, I prefer to copy/paste your suggested question, and ask it on EL&U. Nov 21, 2013 at 10:16
  • @SaeedNeamati I would wait for a few more hours until the US wakes up. There may be other opinions.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Nov 21, 2013 at 10:22
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    Good answer. ++
    – Robusto
    Nov 23, 2013 at 16:15

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