From Slang to Standard: The Case of “Etermal”


In the context of linguistic standards, would the term “Etermal” qualify as an officially recognized word?


A word typically gains official recognition when it satisfies several key criteria:

  • Widespread Usage:

    The term must be used by a significant number of people.

  • Consistent Use:

    It should carry the same or similar meaning across different contexts and users.

  • Sustained Usage:

    The term should be in use over a considerable period, indicating it’s not merely a passing fad.

  • Meaningful Contribution:

    It should add value to the language, often filling a gap in expressing a concept or idea.

  • Descriptive vs. Prescriptive:

    It’s important to note that dictionaries often follow a descriptive rather than prescriptive approach. This means they document words based on actual usage rather than enforcing rules on what constitutes a “real” word.

    The Case for “Etermal”:

    If “Etermal” is being used by a community of speakers with a shared understanding of its meaning and it appears in written and spoken communication with some regularity, it could be considered for dictionary inclusion. However, without evidence of widespread and sustained use, it would not typically meet the standards for official recognition.


    In conclusion, “Etermal” could be on its way to becoming an officially recognized word if it continues to be used meaningfully by a large group of people. The evolution of language is a democratic process, and new words are added to dictionaries as they become entrenched in our everyday lexicon. Whether “Etermal” will reach that point remains to be seen, but it certainly has the potential if it meets the aforementioned criteria.

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