On 3/18/06, Benct Philip Jonsson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
 I do this in both Swedish and English.  I also am fond of backformations
> like _contage_ (noun as well as verb) rather than _contagion_.
> What seems a bit worrying is that it is normally assumed that it is
> the regular/simpler patterns that are contagious, especially with
> children, but with us glossomaniacs it seems to be the rare, archaic
> and "irregular" that is contagious, suggesting that the parts of our
> brains that deal with language are *really* differently wired from
> normal people.

Not just linguaphiles do this; it's a popular pastime in computer
geek/"hacker" (in the non-pejorative sense) culture.  Thus one speaks
of, e.g., one VAX but two VAXen; some go so far as to distinguish
between "boxes" (cardboard) vs "boxen" (computers).   Of course,
verbing runs rampant; I don't think "code" was a verb before the
software development sense.

> My favorite theory is that my linguistic functions
> reside in the other hemisphere from other people, but that explanation
> doesn't hold for people who unlike me didn't suffer post-natal brain
> damage.

Well, normal brains of right-handed people have the language center in
the left hemisphere, but left-handed people's brains tend to differ
from each other as well as from those of right-handers; they're far
less predictable in terms of functional area locations.  But I don't
see why moving it around would change anything. :)

Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]>