Monday, January 28, 2013

"Birdwalking": Make Way, Soulja Boy, for Finer Coinage

After yesterday's blogging, it occurred to me that I was on the verge of realizing a writer's dream: inventing a new word to describe a human activity. The word would be birdwalking -- the practice of combining walking for fitness with birdwatching. Birding + walking = birdwalking.

I googled birdwalking and found that variations of the word are used in certain hip (or would that be hip-hop?) circles. "Bird Walk" was the first single from Soulja Boy's 2008 album, "iSouljaBoy Tellem." Moreover, the Urban Dictionary offers this definition of birdwalk: "a person who walks with swag and is proud in what they do and you can see it in their attitude when they walk." Why that isn't the definition of a birdwalker, a noun, is something you will have to ask the writers of the Urban Dictionary, whoever they are.

In the final analysis, I believe my coinage of birdwalking is far more robust than what is currently out there in the lexicon. Forget the swag. What could be a finer use of leisure time than going on a brisk walk and identifying birds from hundreds of species, thereby helping the cause of conservation? As I discussed yesterday, this healthy pursuit could be done on the Christmas Bird Count, or the Great Backyard Bird Count (Feb. 15-18 this year), or just any day you decide to be a birdwalker and commune with Nature.

I will be taking my camera and doing some birdwalking tomorrow. Eat your heart out, Soulja Boy.

© Robert G. Holland 2013

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