Submitted by goossun  •  May 6, 2004

Isn’t it odd?

Is it correct to say “odditiness”? I mean like odd, oddity and then “odditiness”.

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"There must be a measure."

There is; the measure is whether your new word actually communicates what it is meant to communicate.

The creative name of your photo, "Irreddenable Blue," is immediately clear. A word like "oddityness" is... well one thing that strikes me as wrong about it is that the hearer first hears a word that he knows ("oddity") and then, unexpectedly, the orphaned suffix. It's a stumbling block where "irreddenable" is not.

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Oh, God, Derrida. That man is completely incomprehensible in French, let alone in English translation. Besides that, he is utterly unreliable when it comes to mathematical terminology, which he misunderstands in any language.

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So I just wonder why can't one create the new word, "odditiness". I mean what's the red line of right or wrong when it comes to composing new words? I have before mentioned that Derrida for instance distinguishes between "irrepresentablity" and "unrepresentablity".
http://painintheenglish.com/post.asp?id=133

I know that I still have problems to speak simple English, but there are times when one needs to compose new words. So there must be a measure.

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"Oddness" is the quality of being odd. For example: "The oddness of his appearance makes him easy to spot." It's not very common in speech; "strangeness" means the same thing and is more common.

An "oddity" is a particular *thing* that is odd. You wouldn't use it when talking about people, though. (You might say "He's an odd one" instead, but that's a bit formal.) Again, it's not very common in speech.

They're not adjectives, they're nouns (which I'm sure is what speedwell meant).

(Boring stuff: Normally "-ity" (which comes from Latin) gets attached to words that come from Latin, French, and so on. "-ness" (which comes from Old English) gets added to words that came from Old English. "Odd" is strange because it works with both -ity and -ness.)

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goossun:

You made the word according to known English rules, but no such word actually exists. instead you'd use "oddness" or even just "oddity" as an adjective, or use a synonym that fits in context, such as "unique" or "peculiar."

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