Joe Gilbertson | Jun 19, 2022 | 10
What Is a “Cartellian”?
A brief personal explanation. In several past commentaries, I have referred to those trafficking in drugs as “cartellians.” One reader said he could not find the word in the dictionary – even the BIG Oxford edition. Since then, a couple more readers questioned the word. You will not find the word “cartellian” in the dictionary because I took literary license and … made up the word. Yes, I coined it, as the saying goes.
More remarkable than the initial guy who challenged the authenticity of the word, are the hundreds of thousands of folks who get my online commentaries and never questioned the legitimacy of the word.
In some ways, it is not a new word as much as a variation of a commonly used word. That is the reason it is self-defining – and the reason I coined the word. People read it. They understand it. They accept it.
I think it gains legitimacy by being self-defining. I did not mint a new word out of meaningless desire. It serves a purpose. There would be no benefit had I added a word to the lexicon that would not be readily understood. I leave that to the drug companies who give their products names that have no meaning to the general public – and do not even give a hint as to what the medicine does.
I also liked cartellian because it is a bit of an onomatopoeia — giving these earthly drug-running monsters a name that sounds like some invading creatures from outer space.
More importantly, it simplifies the language. I replaced the phrase “members of a drug cartel” with a single word, cartellian. It seemed to me that the longer phrase reads more like a definition than a word, anyway. In fact, it is the definition of cartellian.
Why two L’s? I just thought it looked better. Perhaps I should have followed some rule, but then again English has more exceptions than rules. If you do not agree, just ask someone who has had to learn English as a second language.
I shall now wait to see if my new word will get the attention of those individuals who decide when a word gets admitted to the Oxford Unabridged Dictionary.
So, there ‘tis.