L is for lunaversary

Luna- is the prefix, not just for moon-based objects, from which the word “month” comes, but for “lunatics” and “lunacy,” all the things “early-stage intense romantic love” is.

moon-20120922-thm“Six-month anniversary.” Something is just linguistically WRONG about that. Anni- refers to the year. Now, semi-anniversary, or some variation would be OK.

You may have read about the studies dealing with the “swooning magic of head-over-heels love.” Researchers “found high amounts of activity in a ‘reward’ part of the brain when the smitten subjects were shown photos of their honeys. That part of the brain has previously been linked to the desire for cocaine, chocolate, and money.

“It shows us exactly why love looks so crazy. It’s activating these circuits that are associated with very intense desire,” said SUNY Stony Brook psychologist Arthur Aron,” who helped lead one study.

Well, luna- is the prefix, not just for moon-based objects, from which the word “month” comes, but for “lunatics” and “lunacy,” all the things “early-stage intense romantic love” is. Lunaversary (loon’ a ver’ sah ree) is the monthly recurrence of a notable event. It is far more accurate than “one-month anniversary”, and far shorter to boot.

You never heard of lunaversary before? That’s because I created it. Or so I believe. When I wrote about this previously, some other guy claims HE invented it, and he probably did, and around the same time; the logic is rather rudimentary.

Nevertheless, I had sent this word to the late William Safire’s “On Language” column in the New York Times about twenty years ago. Safire thought it was interesting construction, and he did type me a response suggesting that the idea had merit. He said he considered using it in his column, but never did. I still have that blue postcard somewhere in the attic.

Use “lunaversary” at will. Tell them when they say “fifth month anniversary” that the PREFERRED term is “fifth lunaversary.” Impress your friends, and confound those who aren’t familiar with this word.

(Based on a post from June 15, 2005.)

abc 17 (1)
ABC Wednesday – Round 17