Shakespear contributed 1700 words to the English language and even caused the language to be restructured. Which is one of the reasons he’s still remembered as a great historical writer.
It makes one wonder if such things can still happen. Interestingly they can, but in a different way. Pop culture references are becoming more and more common. Where referencing something in pop culture is used to describe something but also evoke the needed emotion.
Interestingly this concept was touched upon in a Star Trek The Next Generation episode ‘Darmok’. In which Picard encounters a race that speaks entirely in metaphor. Notable of this was ‘Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra’.
I was reminded of this recently when a friend was playing FTL. A game in which you control a spaceship and have to keep your crew alive. He was complaining that he kept dying, often from some new and unexpected challenge. My first thought was that his ship was the Kobayashi Maru. Another well known concept spawned from Star Trek.
For those that don’t know the Kobayashi Maru, in the Star Trek universe it’s a test every Starfleet cadet has to do. In it they command a Starfleet vessel and have to do a rescue mission to save the Kobayashi Maru. In this simulation there is no winning. No matter what solution they come up something else will intervene. Almost always resulting in the destruction of both the maru and the cadet ship.
Basically it’s an unwinnable scenario. The result is that the words Kobayashi Maru in our language ‘mean’ unwinnable scenario. Technically of course this word only works on people familiar with Star Trek.
Other examples exist of course, but they fall in a realm of Reality TV I dare not touch upon.
Ultimately these are just random musings I have about language, but it’s interesting to see how it changes.