does keysmash is word?

published: 2023-06-24

so the other day (probably over a month ago at this point) i was talking to my friend about languages, as we do, and the question came up: are keysmashes words? it came from me reveling at the ability for humans to learn and comprehend a set of completely arbitrary symbols multiple times, remembering that english is no different, and appropriately responding with

“ahsgv”

my rationale was that every keysmash is a distinct unit of text, and in many cases, carries meaning.

but because that meaning isn’t nearly as universal as that of other things typically called words, the question came, are keysmashes words?

ultimately we decided that they are, in a sense, but only in certain contexts. they also have the unique property of every keysmash being something close to synonyms to every other keysmash. as keysmashes can have an infinite number of spellings i feel like it would be a reach to call them all the same word, but they generally convey the same meaning - an intense expression of emotion. though the label of synonym does begin to fall short as keysmashes can convey a wild range of connotations.

given that keysmashes are simultaneously synonyms of all other keysmashes, have an infinite number of spellings, and convey largely the same intent with wildly different connotations, we decided to dub them hyperwords.

the name hyperword comes from
a) it sounds cool
and b) the prefix hyper- has a definition of

that is or exists in a space of more than three dimensions

source

which again
a) sounds cool as hell
and b) i would say accurately captures keysmashes’ unique linguistic properties

we also thought about “metaword” as it sounds just as cool, but that already had an existing definition on wikitionary

A word, such as a search keyword or dictionary headword, that stands for itself as a word rather than having a meaning and a context.



but to answer the question up top, i would say that keysmash does indeed is word. 👍 thank you for coming to my ted talk