Bradbury’s diction is quite recognizable. His penchant for consonants and invented words makes for a unique accessibility for 8th graders. His “contrasedative” that is given to Mildred to get her back to her normal shallow self, imagined “upflailing” arms of Montag in response to Captain Beatty’s logic, and “odorphonics” (from “The Veldt”) have inspired us all to learn roots, prefixes, and suffixes and create new words ourselves.
The soundcloud below is TJ reading the pronunciation for five of the words he created: Nummuminuquinquagintary, Homocrossusdetabula, Alquiasius, Ferreosednonmagiferreomaxiferreopossucogitory (see above- hard, but not as hard as the hardest thing imaginable), and Glaciaquacasuexdivum (which means snow).
The students had a terrific time working on these words, shouting silly word combos to each other, sharing poetic interpretations of word parts, spontaneously working with each other to create meaning out of the seemingly disparate parts. Even GR, with whom I have not had great success in holding his energy or attention all year, was shocked at how fast the class went when our double period was over.
There was SD’s Pseudodermaphilia (the love of false skin: “Amos was really into pseudodermaphilia, which is why he always dated celebrities), MB’s Antidermavorist (one who is against eating one’s skin: “Mark was an extreme antidermavorist so when he saw James biting his cuticles, he became enraged.”) ET’s Dyslocutimatrijuvenipedotude (A mother of young children who never says the right thing: “My mother is such a dyslocutimatrijuvenipedotude; she always says, “Don’t worry, honey, your father and I are always surprised that you turned out looking as nice as you do.”) And BG’s Macroridition (the results of excessive laughter—see below.)
So the next time someone comes up to me and says, “Wow, you really work with 8th graders?! Teaching Middle Schoolers has to be the most difficult job I can imagine!” I will calmly reply with, “Ferreosednonmagiferreomaxiferreopossucogitory,” before I break into an intense case of Macroridition.