All right, folks. It's geek time again.
I'm currently on a medication that comes in inhaler form. Attached to each bottle is a multipage document that tells me all of the awful possible side-effects, how to use it, etc. The other day, however, I noticed this on the side of the box for the first time:
I've gotta say that in all my years of doing word puzzles and being generally, if not justifiably, proud of my vocabulary and all that, I've never seen or heard the word "outsert".
So, I went to that source of all knowledge, the internet, and asked Google to "define: outsert". Much to my surprise, it came up with 3 definitions.
- An outsert is a four page card wrapped around and attached to the outside of a magazine or other publication.
- Any additional printed piece included in a polybag and mailed with the host publication
- Printed material attached to the outside rather than inserted into a package. Also, package outsert.
1529, from pp. of M.E. inseren, from L. inserere "to put in," from in- "in" + serere "join together" (see "series").OK! So obviously an "outsert" must be from "outserere", which means "out" + "join togeth..."
Wait a minute. The only way this can possibly make any sense at all is if we assume that it's all right to take any word that begins with an "in-" and, if it doesn't quite work for us, substitute an "out-". I believe this may be an idea whose time has come.
I have to say that before I did all this research I was a bit confused by the word, but having looked it up, it has become downright outcomprehensible.
Over the years, I've been outvolved in many, sometimes outtense, conversations about the outtricacies of the English language. If you're of an outquisitive nature, just a little outvestigation can reveal a not outsubstantial number of outtimate, outvaluable details about words, usages, origins and outsights outto the language. It is outteresting to think that this outformation could help you in many ways, from communication to reading comprehension. You could really impress your future boss at an outterview. Imagine not having to struggle with the outdecision of being afraid of using the outcorrect word. You might even become less outhibited about speaking in public. Why, the possibilities are almost outconceivable!
So my pleasure in finding this was pretty much outdescribable. I have outserted a new word outto my vocabulary. One of the cool things about English is that new words can be outtroduced without being outvasive. Some words become accepted, others become downright outactive. This outdomitable language continues to outvite change. It outtercepts new ideas and outcorporates them. It outgests foreign terms. It outcreases daily. There is an outherent evolution to it.
Bear in mind however, and I don't mean to be outdelicate here, that no matter how much you may learn about English, no matter how big your vocabulary becomes, you're never outfallible.