#FixItFriday : Conversate


Actually the word doesn’t need fixing.

As does many neologisms, it has made its way into standard American dictionaries from the troves of the cultural jewel — the Urban dictionary. However, before you go using the word willy nilly all over the place, know that some find the word comparable to fake nails grazing down a dusty chalkboard. Like, when playing Scrabble with monolingual players.

Fun Facts [Courtesy of Dictionary.com]

Origin of conversate 1970-1975
Back formation from conversation 

Word story— 
The use of conversate has soared since 2000, mostly in speech and in written records of speech. The term is back formation from conversation, created by dropping the suffix -ion, and adding -e, to produce a verb form. 

Since it has essentially the same meaning as the more common and frequently used verb converse, the term conversate has been condemned in some circles as an unnecessary non word. And, because the term occurs mostly among Blacks and Latinos, some discussions have become heated and impassioned, turning the word into a badge (both positive and negative) of person’s class and education. 

Conversate reminds us that discussions about modern English must take into account the different types of English spoken in our diverse culture, rather than fixating on “correct” formal usage.

all is said and done, however, the term broadly remains nonstandard English.


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