That's right. Conversate is now a word, even though spell check hasn't caught up yet. I heard it in a Toby Keith song the other day, so it's now pretty widely accepted. It'll be in the next dictionary. In fact, it's already in the online dictionary as "nonstandard" at this link.
Why? you may ask. Why, when we already had a pretty decent, usable word, do we need to reconstruct to fill in the blank when we talk about talking? The answer is simple: converse is no longer good enough.
|Search results for converse|
When we think of converse, we no longer think of it as a verb - to converse with someone. It's taken on a a higher calling: when you Google search converse, the whole first page, save for one entry near the very bottom (and one at about the middle about a college), is about shoes and where you can buy them. No surprise, right? But when you Google search conversate, you get this: search results about a word that some people still refuse to accept.
I must admit, the first few times I heard it, I thought to myself something along the lines of, That's not a word. The correct word you're looking for is converse. Why are you making the word longer? But lately, I've been hearing it all the time in the place of converse, and as I'm sure I've mentioned in a previous post, I've decided not to waste any more time or effort in the irrational and exhausting fight against change. Change happens every day, and no matter who likes or dislikes it, it's going to happen all the same.
Language is a living, breathing entity. Just as we grow older with the years, so do words and phrases. Things die and fall out of use - that's life, and there's no use to waste energies trying to stop it. The best thing you can do is to compromise and recycle to whatever degree that one can. So, the word converse moving on to bigger and better things is of little consequence. It's been replaced without much thought, except of course on the part of those who are trying to keep conversate a non-word.
Now, about those people who are still refusing to accept language change: I now find them funny. I don't know if you will be able to share my humor, but I must share some comments here. As I was researching for this post, I noticed that there are quite a few comments on Miriam-Webster's entry of conversate, even though they listed it as "non-standard" and I thought I'd read through them a bit. Haha - such great examples of the armies opposing one another concerning language change! (Though, the way I see it, one army is sitting back sipping a drink, not needing to even get up from their chairs, while the other is storming the beach with battle axes and swords trying unsuccessfully to break through an invisible barrier, all in the name of man's tradition.) Join me while I revel in my virgin pina colada.
To the first comment in the pic and its reply: If a native English speaker said or otherwise used this word, whether you accept it as such or not, and you understood what it meant, it is a word. For more information regarding this statement, and to better understand where I'm coming from saying it, read my previous posts on this blog or leave me a comment below. Also, I highly disagree that it's "sad that Webster even recognizes it (as a word)" - I applaud them for being so on top of what's happening in language today and for providing accurate information regarding this relatively new word and its history. Let's not forget who respelled a ton of words just because our language needed a spelling update. (It's passed due for another spelling update, by the way.)
To Matt DuBois and his replier: Being an independent thinker and creatively using your lexicon makes you feel stupid? Lol. Asking for a list of "non-standard" words should make you feel stupid. Shouldn't you intuitively know which words aren't really words? And hating words is okay, but hating them because they're not in a dictionary on your shelf, that's just racist. If you're going to hate them, do it because they sound bad or something more legitimate.
To the last comment in the pic: A "prison word." Just, haha, too funny. Rolling on the floor laughing here.
Most of the comments are something along these lines, just for your information. If you can see the humor in the ones above, and want some laughs, I suggest you visit the page and read through them. Most of the people looking up the word said they just wanted to see if it was a word (according to the only authority on the matter that they're aware of - that's another blog post). Some are frustrated that people are actually using this word, because of course they are prejudiced against new words (because they subconsciously make them feel older or less knowledgeable, or whatever). And a lot of people commented to say that whoever uses this word is ignorant, stupid, or simply dumb and looking for a way to make themselves feel or appear smarter to others (and these are all just ways to make the people making these comments feel justified in their prejudice against the word, since they didn't come up with or popularize it themselves - this is subconscious by the way, a psychology thing).
None of this really matters in the long run. The life of conversate has begun, whether some people wish to kill it or not. It may have a long healthy life despite the hatred focused at it in its beginning, or it may die young. I don't know how long this newly common word will last, but I figure it's here to stay for a while. As for me and my virgin pina colada, we will sit back and enjoy the sound of the ocean while others fight for a spot on the beach.
Speak up if you want. I will answer between sips.