I love words.
I guess that partly explains why I’m a songwriter; there’s something both mysterious and incredibly satisfying about taking a handful of nouns and verbs and shaping them into something new and beautiful. I like cleverness, wordplay, rhyme, alliteration – the whole deal. Language is fun.
And part of the fun of language – at least, the English language – is that it can be surprisingly silly. I’m a big fan of goofy slang (“jinkies” is a favorite expression of which I have yet to tire).
Even better? Mash-up words. These are officially called “portmanteau words” – i.e. stuffing two words into one “suitcase” (or portmanteau). Common examples include smog (“smoke” blended with “fog”), brunch (“breakfast” and “lunch”) and one that you might expect has its origins in current entertainment culture but actually debuted in the 1930’s: celebutante (“celebrity” plus “debutante”).
My current favorite portmanteau word?
Anticipointment: the state of mind resulting from excitedly anticipating something and then being disappointed when it fails to meet expectations.
When you get your hopes up about something – say, a movie or concert or sporting event, Christmas or a birthday or anniversary, or a new relationship that shows promise – and then, as often happens, expectations are not met, hopes are dashed, promises are broken…
Jesus is the only One Who will never disappoint – Who always keeps His promises.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23 NIV
I think we have a very weak understanding of the word “hope.” It’s not wishful thinking, it’s not Pollyanna optimism. It’s not rooted in emotion or circumstance. Hope is a disciplined and determined focus on the faithfulness of God. To “hold unswervingly” to hope is to choose trust over fear.
In light of this, I need to learn to trust Him more fully. To believe that His love for me is as deep as He says it is.
To hope without fear of “anticipointment.”