UnHooray for… Nominalization (A Poet’s Adventures in Theory, Part One)

Which is that process in language use by which a verb is turned into a noun (if I understand the linguists correctly).  So, to mystify becomes mystification, to irritate becomes irritation, to intimidate becomes intimidation and so on.  It’s a process that seems to be used a LOT in theory, and I can understand why, I think.  The need to give names to the processes you observe, or the effects you feel and so on must be powerfully strong.

But for crying out loud, does it have to be EVERY OTHER WORD?

Ok, maybe it does.  Theory is knotty, complex; it has its own conventions and we learn to navigate the big words as though they were markers in the road up the hill.  Fine.  It’s just that it seems to have bled into other types of writing, too.  

And speaking! Just the other day, someone on TV (USA-made, “reality” show – don’t judge me!) seemed to say something like:

My life is approaching normalcy.

What the hell is wrong with just plain normality? Maybe normalcy is a real word.  Maybe it’s a term from the field of Psychology or something.  But in this context, I suspect not.

I suppose it’s very seductive, this conferring-of-authority via nominalization (ye Gods!  It’s happening to me, too!).  But it seems to have been joined by a pointless use of additional or alternative suffixes ( -cy, not -ality, in this case).  I’m starting to see the future – or rather My observationalitynizationness is such that the futurality of language usagecy offers an obscurational process by which misunderstandingization of meaningality is achieved.



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