Atem: a new word


Have you ever checked the Wiktionary entry for ‘meta’? I have. It’s right here. When I looked at it, I noticed that there were no antonyms. None!

But why?

I often find it useful to be able to un-metaize complex thoughts: instead of thinking about thinking (meta-thinking), I think. Nothing else. However, when I mention that “I think”, it may not be obvious that before I was thinking, I was thinking about thinking, which is why I have chosen to create atem, a new word whose only function is to act as meta’s antonym. With this word, I can now say that “I atem-think”, meaning “I think because I thought of thinking”, or I can say that “I think”, meaning “I think”. ‘atem’ removes a lot of ambiguity from the English language.

Ok, maybe not that often, but sometimes it’s useful.

Also, atem could be quite useful in abstract definitions, as a way to focus on making something abstract concrete instead of making something concrete abstract. For example, this page is probably an atem-page, because somewhere out there there’s a page about this page.

Perhaps every object in existence could be considered an atem object. It’s not impossible, it just doesn’t make much sense.

Still, this word could be useful. I hope it gets into a dictionary.

Update, February 11, 2012 (UTC)

I just found out that I’m not the only one who at some point found the lack of a meta antonym strange and annoying. Naturally, I can’t rely on Wiktionary to give me the latest opinions on language extensions.

A recent internet search for “meta antonym” gave me several links to pages where other people discussed the need. Someone have even proposed the word “mesa”. I don’t care if the new antonym becomes “atem”, “mesa” (which I guess has nothing to do with this Mesa), or something else — I just want it to exist.