Remember sniglets? This was a term coined by comedian Rich Hall in an old HBO show from the 1980s called Not Necessarily the News, which if memory serves, was a lot like what The Daily Show is today only without all that ever-lovable 1980s cheese and corny-ness. As Hall defined them, sniglets are words that “don’t appear in the dictionary but should.” I was young when my parents used to watch the show, but I’ve always been very aware of language and sound. I loved to invent my own words for sounds. I still love to invent my own words. I feel I’ve been given license to do so with my English degree.

Anyway, in a meeting yesterday at work, I coined my own sniglet: disfingeration, the misalignment of your fingers on the computer keyboard that causes you to type an almost patterned gibberish. For example, the result of moving your right hand slightly to the left of the keyboard, keeping your fingers in the “correct” keyboarding positions: /cine frin nars. (Translation: [Shift] I come from mars.)

I am thinking of it as a combination of the words “disfigured” (which describes how your text looks when you finally look up what you’ve typed on the screen) and “finger” which is actually what is causing the problem. Also, don’t forget that “dis” harkens to “dislocation,” which is what your fingers do. Admit it–it’s just a great new word.

The new word was inspired by the guy who fell victim to disfingeration while his computer screen was projected on the meeting room wall. The term came to me on the fly, which is really rare as my comedic “genius” is usually not quite so impromptu. I suppose everyone catches a break now and then. My co-workers seemed to agree that it was a fitting name. I hope it catches on!

2 thoughts on “Disfingeration

  1. I just met a lady who sliced off her finger in a bakery accident. I think she might be better able to be described as a victim of “disfingeration.” What you’re describing I’d call miskeyboardation ;)

  2. One of my favorite made up words (by yours truly) is concretize-to solidify something. I used to have aspirations to have my own dictionary. Hmm…

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