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What if there was a catastrophic world war and only the island of Manhattan escaped destruction.....

Written for a graduate class on the history of the English language in September 2016

See footnotes for word origins and definitions

Journal of the 2020 Civicide[1]
By A Mother Foracler[2]
(written in the dialect of Emperian[3] English)

It’s been 50 years now since the Gartuous[4] Civicide of 2020. Hard to believe the flow and pace of our tragistory.[5] Everything has changed since then. I feel like our youngizens[6] don’t know our vivihist.[7] It is so important to understand and appreciate how we got here; the tragivents[8] that got us to this point. The utopia we now have enjoy was paid through the hefty price of crimsonia.[9]

We set out to creationate[10] this utopia so completely that even new words were necessary to make it hopeful and vivant.[11] On the one hand, some language was needed to fill invention and cultural gaps, but sometimes we just needed new, fresh words to convince ourselves of a new fresh civilife.[12] We were trying so desperately to creationate everything in the living sense that vivre[13] was key to our vivization.[14]

When the Hunsters[15] started threatening, no one took it seriously. No one was interested in anything past their ocuputers.[16] People were shadeyed[17] and accustomed to only viewing amiviment[18] and safopias.[19] However, these stateless[20] Hunsters were “not chiming safespace”.[21] In those early days, only a few foracles[22] took steps to find safety on Empiria,[23] our crayshop,[24] formerly known as Manhattan Island.


People knew it would be safe here since we had the RadoShield[25] protecting us against the incoming mitterands.[26] We referred to them as mitterands[27] not only from the linguistic standpoint, but in reference to the France of old where the Hunsters were allowed to get a hophold,[28] to flourish and to gain power. Mitterand of France was a proponent of the unifying of Europe which gave civispace[29] for Hunsters to be powercidish.[30]


Our RadoShield was developed much like the primitive Iron Dome which protected Israel from incoming rockets in 2014. Our MotherRad[31] was impenetrable, protecting us from even the teramitterands[32] which were the giagantist[33] megaweapons[34] known to the homosphere.[35] No one even remembers that anymore since that technology is currently unnecessary. We are the only homozens[36] around in most of the terrasphere[37] if not the whole of the dextrant[38] end of the former United States. In fact, we are the dominant vivizoa[39] since most of the animal world perished as well with the states sinistrant[40] as they were radified[41] and obliterated. We had to form our own country which we named Empiria, home to the mix of livongers.[42]


Those early days were harrowing. As the bluvercloud[43] grew, and the tacthert[44] threat became more and more taxant.[45] The livongers from all over the country, if not the known sphere[46] of the time, rushed into our border. All crossings kept filling up and the wait to “jump the river”[47] took hours. We hopped onto those vivibarges[48] and they made constant trips from all varingresses.[49] It all gave new meaning the phrase of old, “barge in”. We were literally pushing our way onto them for dear life, precious vivihood.[50] We pulshed[51] and pulshed until there was no room on the vivibarges and no more room on the crayshop.


Overcrowding was kicking.[52] Finally, we had to close the borders by blowing up the crossages,[53] all the entryways to Empiria. Unfortunately, that meant that no more homozens could be saved as well as the stoppage of all import vivential[54] goods from the sphere. We had to be creationative[55] about feeding, clothing and sheltering our varipopulace[56] of nativers[57] and livongers.


With no imports we became tied to our terra.[58] We honored and cherished our terrasphere and all life had to be sustained through the nurturhull[59] crayshop. We had to learn to grow the right crops to feed all the Empirians[60] in terms of optimizing nutrition and vivential quantities. It was a megatask[61] finding enough space for growing. To give you an idea of the bulging varipopulace, Manhattan in 2014 had a population of about 1.63 million people, all living in an area of just 23 square miles. After the vivihop[62], the varipop[63] grew to a maxipop[64] of almost 8 million.


All verdanparks[65] were converted to fields for agrifood[66] which is the only type we would eat. We had no livestock, anyway. There would have been no room for them and they would have to be fed as well, not an efficient use of nutriment.[67] Every inch of terra was occupied by homozens and maintaining vivization. The only other vivizoa alive since the Gartuous Civicide were the domestic pets saved by the RadoShield, not exactly nurturing fare. In any case, no one was in the brains[68] for killing to survive. We had seen too much of that. We had learned to revere life in all forms.


Central Park was the most lushiferous[69] land we had. Converting it to farming was a godsend. Other verdanparks like Riverside and Bryant were kept as multi-use spaces for play and agrifood. Still, others like Washington Square and Battery were kept as playparks[70] for children and celiparks[71] for adult respite. The parcrops[72] were like ‘manna from mothershield’[73] and parcropping[74] became a labor of love for our homozenry.[75]


We were able to yield a bulgiferous[76] crop from our leftover agrifood seeds that we saved as we saw the last of our imported food supply drying up.[77] It was truly splendiferous,[78] but mutant agribugs[79] had vociferous appetites. That first year, they consumed our agrifood. That brial[80] was the hardest we had ever known. We had no agrifuel[81] to sustain us. We had no agrinutriment[82] for our children. The agribugs had to be eliminated. But how?


Water, pristeen water was the answer, our golden water.[83] The agribugs could not tolerate goldwater.[84] We developed a system to grow agrifood in pools of goldwater and surrounded each uniplant[85] with garlic as insurance to mothershield[86] them. With terra at a premium, we turned to hydroponic growing as well. But, we needed loads of goldwater. Some for crop nutrimenting[87], some for drinking and some for sanitation. The goldwater indigenous to the crayshop such as in the reservoir and the lake in Central Park that was protected by the RadoShield maintained it purity, but it was not nearly enough to support the new maxipop and the demands for agrifood. We were also surrounded by bronzewater[88] which was contaminated to varying degrees by the civicide barrage of teramitterands and radomitterands.[89]

‘Necessity is the vivorth[90] of creationativity[91]’.[92] We developed new processes for goldwater purification. Our chemengineers[93] delved into the problem and refined ways and levels for goldwater and bronzewater cleansing. We had ways to purify any and all types of water. The new levels of purity were named: angelwater[94], platinumwater[95], goldwater[96], diwater[97] and sterwater[98] each with a different purpose and application. Emperians became aquapurology[99] experts. The engineers that thrived were aquapurologists[100] and agrifoodologists.[101] Sanipurologists[102] were also critical for keeping our crayshop sanitary as it crayshed[103] our congested homozenry.[104]


Aeronautical and mechanical engineers were pretty obsolete with no air travel and little automobile engine use. We walked almost everywhere. There was no room for cars of old and no gasoline to fuel them. Commonplace were the clean energy cable cars of old running up and down the bullshops.[105] These were powered by the collection of energy by the MotherRad apparatus. Thus, we either footed[106] it or hopped[107] it to go up and down the island.  Crayshadicians[108] were also in demand, but more about that later.


We had so many homozens to deal with. The nativers and livongers were all thrown together in a medilcresh.[109] The residential buildings got to the point where they could not hold everyone, even with more than one family in apartments now referred to as medilunits[110] in medilbuilds.[111] Office buildings had to be converted for shelter. They had to service as workspace by day and residence by night. We called the units unicoms[112] in comserves.[113] The first building to go comserve[114] was the United Nations which was no longer necessary, since there were no other nations. Luckily, due to the early New Yorkers’ of the 1990’s dissatisfaction with the institution, there was talk for 30 years prior to the civicide for doing so and rudimentary comserve plans had already been on the drawing table.

There were so many families living together that we formed informal groups. Medliunit and unicom mates were called fofams.[115] Fofams tried to live around other compatible fofams for homogeneity. Buildings became communities called focoms.[116] Each building became its own neighborhood. In days of old, there would be Italian, Irish, Asian and Jewish neighborhoods. Today, medilbuilds and comserves serve that purpose.

Privacy was a big issue in day-to-day existence on the bullshop. We figured ways around it by developing dialects and codes within our focoms. The mother tongues of ancestors like Italian, Gaelic, Chinese, Hebrew and Yiddish figured prominently in our dilangs.[117] We spoke Emperian English in public, but when we needed more privacy, we would pepper in words from our ancient tongues. For example, if a family was talking about a shidduch[118] from a haimish[119] family for one of our yingerbochur[120] we might want to speak outside in a celipark away from our fofams and focoms. Other focoms outside our specific mother culture would never understand what we said. When we had to communicate privately within the family in our shared focom spaces, we would do so breathfully.[121]


As I mentioned before, vivispace[122] was at a premium. Filling the medilbuilds and comserves did not take long. Our crayshadicians had to figure ways to build up. Even skyscrapers had to go heavenward. Crayshads[123] became experts in bolstering foundations and building taller buildings still. These retrofitted medilbuilds were called megamedilbuilds[124] and megacomserves.[125] When we found extra scraps of terra, we built heavenhuggers[126] that were so long and tall that they seemed to be embracing G-d Himself. Luckily, the bedrock on which Empiria is built could support those tall structures. They were bolstered at the base with granatia[127] and on their four corners with the thickest tariment.[128]


Our governing is simple and a pure votocracy.[129] We no longer needed the republic of old with its electoral college. We were all klinked[130] for better or worse in our kickable space,[131] brotherment[132] all. No need to safeguard those in hinterlands. We are one and our votes are respected by our fellow homozens.


Unfortunately, our youngins[133] have recently started to feel closed in. They take the unity we have achieved for granted and they look beyond the mothershield[134] for expansion.[135] They have begun to make ships to carry them to the toxilands[136] of ancient Brooklyn or even the dreaded Queens of our forefathers to set up new crayshops.


Dear youngins, it is not as safe out there as you would believe. You forget the civicide and the toxicide[137] that killed everything beyond the mothershield. Be careful, dear ones, be careful. Foot carefully[138] before you open varegressses[139] for others to follow. Let us foot carefully and explore the toxilands together. Let us choose unity and vivihood over all else. I pray we find a way to viviforth[140] a new chapter in our sphere together, in the breath of brotherment[141] we have worked so hard to achieve.

[1] Murder of civilization. Genocide and was too small a word to apply to the devastation that occurred.

[2] Woman witness to history that she foresaw was coming. See note 22.

[3] A dialect of English spoken in Emperia.

[4] Gargantuan and tremendous.

[5] Tragic, traumatic history to denote the epic tragedy that preceded our vivihist. See note 7.

[6] Young citizens. Subset of homozens in note 36.

[7] Living history from vivre. A hopeful tone set moving forward.

[8] Tragic, traumatic events. Part of word group starting with the affix tragi-.

[9] Red, painful syndrome from the suffix ia meaning a medical abnormal condition. Red is meant to symbolize the loss of life. Reflects the condition of thirst for blood by the enemy Hunsters in note 15.

[10] Creating based on creation. Starting from a clean slate almost from creation.

[11] Life from the root vivre in French.

[12] Civilization based on life as opposed the civicide they experienced.

[13] Vivre is an important root word in this new utopia.

[14] Civilization is too similar to civicide so they came up with a more hopeful living word from vivre.

[15] Uncivilized people of the Hun, boorish type. Allusion to Huns in past centuries who were evil and aggressive. The -ster suffix is a member of a group like gangster.

[16] Ocular computers worn like glasses.

[17] Had shades covering their eyes i.e. ocuputer shades. Pronounced with a long a as in shade.

[18] Amusing (am), lively(-iv) entertainment (-ment suffix for noun denoting state of being).

[19] Safe space programming where they only see images that they feel are safe to their psyche and hear ideas they agree with. Compound of safe and the suffix -opia for visual. Sounds a bit like the soap opera programs that were rampant in the last half of the 20th century.

[20] Huns of 4th & 5th centuries were nomadic. Thus, another reason to call present day stateless villains Hunsters.

[21] Idiom from a combination of the old sayings “not fooling around” and “not whistling dixie”.

[22] Forward seeing oracles. People who see ahead.

[23] New York was the only state left, so we named the country Empiria after the Empire state moniker.

[24] Literally crib hop. Crib root form of crèche modified to craysh and combined with hop. Our safe refuge on which we were able to hop to like frogs in order to survive.

[25] Radiation Opposing and Repelling Shield. Pronounced with short a in the first syllable. Similar to the way RADAR developed as a word from Radio Detecting and Ranging.

[26] Missiles from the Latin mittere for throwing loaded with radiation. The ‘n’ added for ease of speech.

[27] Francois Mitterand was France’s longest serving president who was a socialist that even included the communist party in his government. A tenet of communism is the withering away of the state – perfect for the stateless Hunsters.

[28] Idiom based on ‘gain a foothold’. Hopping too safety is the new allusion in this society.

[29] Civilized space in the days of the old civilization when civi was a common prefix.

[30] Adjective for powercide. Power hunger leading to murder.

[31] Affectionate name for the RadoShield.

[32] Giant mitterands from the prefix teras meaning monster in Latin.

[33] Most gigantic.

[34] Super weapons from the prefix mega meaning giant.

[35] Mankind from the Latin root homo sapien and the word atmoshpere. Only man was left for the most part after the vivicide.

[36] Citizens based off the Latin root homo sapiens.

[37] Earth from terra in Latin meaning land and sphere alluding to globe. We needed a new word that felt earthier and smaller since practically the entire world was destroyed. Again, veering away from the prefix civi- to lessen the reminder and/or reference to civicide.

[38] Right-hand from dextra. The eastern seaboard was the right side of the country. Dextrant seemed more suitable since there were no longer two sides of the country, just the dominant side that survived. Compound of dextra and extant.

[39] Living beings from vivre and the suffix zoa meaning living being.

[40] Left or west side of the country from the Latin root sinis and the suffix -ant meaning inclined to. Counterpart word to dextrant.

[41] Decimated by radiation. A nod to the historical ratifying of the US Constitution when the original country was formed.

[42] Those who escaped, survived and lived on.

[43] Compound of black hovering cloud of imminent doom.

[44] Touching (from tact) the heart, usually in a panicky scared sense when you can feel the shiver of fear cut through the body and into your heart.

[45] Real; touchable (tact) and extant (undestroyed).

[46] Short for homosphere. The globe is now referred to as the smaller, weaker word sphere since the world was indeed much more compromised in terms of manpower and resources.

[47] Like frogs jump high and fast from lily pad to lily pad, we had to be fast and jump the river to get over to safety. When we made it over, our status was changed just as it was when black slaves of old “jumped the broom” into marriage.

[48] Applied to any vessel that brought people to safety including lifeboats, barges, ocean liners, ferries and even rafts derived from the word vivre meaning life.

[49] Various points of ingress.

[50] Life with the suffix -hood for condition or state of being.

[51] Pushed with such fervor there was pulsating.

[52] Everywhere you walked you stumbled and kicked someone.

[53] Crossings and passages into Empiria whether by land or sea with any vehicle - car, boat, train or truck.

[54] Vital and essential. Emphasizes the root vivre.

[55] Creative and start from a clean slate almost from creation with a dose of imaginative.

[56] Varied population which was truly all classes from lower class populace up to the higher class population. As a result of the overcrowding, we all felt like a populace. 

[57] Native New Yorkers of the time.

[58] Short for terrasphere. Terra is from the Latin for land, but it also has cultural origins hearkening back to a classic text Gone With the Wind where Tara was a plantation and the life force of the main character Scarlett that exemplified survivor.

[59] Nurturing cover from hull.

[60] Homozens of Emperia.

[61] Giant project.

[62] The hop to life or migration.

[63] Short for varipopulace. See note 56.

[64] Short for maxipopulace, a maximum population.

[65] Green parks as opposed to parks for playgrounds.

[66] Food grown from the ground from the Latin root agri to do with field.

[67] Material containing nutrition.

[68] Literal way of expressing in the mood. Brains generate and house thoughts.

[69] Lush and high yielding from the suffix iferous meaning high yielding.

[70] Parks with playgrounds for children to play in the outside. Easier to say than playgrounds and it is more accurately descriptive.

[71] Parks for adults mainly with benches for alone time from the word celibate and celebrate and made of cement.

[72] The crops from our verdanparks. Compound of park and crops.

[73] Perfect food sent from a higher power. Similar to the ancient expression ‘manna from heaven’.

[74] Verb for harvesting the parcrops.

[75] Population of homozens known collectively with the suffix -ry.

[76] Bulging, inflated crop from the suffix iferous meaning high yielding.

[77] With water as an important part of existing (see below), drying up, an old expression, took an even deeper and more dramatic meaning.

[78] -iferous is a common suffix in 2070 Emperian English.

[79] Insects that thrive on the unique, new food we grew in our fields.

[80] New name for winter. The RadoShield completely changed the winter weather from cold and harsh to bright and breezy. Compound of bri and -al, suffix for relating to.

[81] Fuel of the field to stoke engines, human or otherwise.

[82] Material from the field containing nutrients.

[83] So named for its value was compared to gold.

[84] Precious commodity of water was golden. Compound word emerged to express how valuable it was to the terrasphere.

[85] Single plant.

[86] Interchangeable with MotherRad. When used with a small m, terms used to describe an all-encompassing term of protection.

[87] Verb for nutriment. Giving nourishment to the crop.

[88] Less pure and, therefore, less valuable water.

[89] Mitterands with radioactive capabilities.

[90] Bring into life from vivre and forth. Pronounced with a long i.

[91] State of being creationative.

[92] Updated old English expression ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’.

[93] Chemical engineers.

[94] Highest form of pure water for use in sterile conditions.

[95] Purer than the gold standard for use in food preparation and ingestion.

[96] The gold standard of water for homozen use.

[97] Diamond water for use in

[98] Sterling water for use in

[99] The study of water purification.

[100] Engineers that purify water.

[101] Engineers that study how to cultivate agrifood production and optimization.

[102] Sanitation purologists. Engineers that keep the environment sanitary.

[103] Verb meaning cradled (crèche) and nurtured. From the noun crayshop.

[104] Body of homozens. See note 36.

[105] Main roads. Compound of boulevard and crayshop.

[106] Walked by foot. Specific variation of the word ‘go’.

[107] Traveled by hopping on the cable car like a shuttle. Another specific variation of the word ‘go’.

[108] Construction engineers from the root to that build safe shelters from the root crèche and crayshop.

[109] Group of varied people in a structure. A compound of crib from creche, denoting a place of protection, and medley.

[110] Apartments with more than 1 family living in them. A compound of medley and units.

[111] Residential apartment buildings with medliunits.

[112] Apartment units used for both residence and commercial. A compound of unit and commerce. Uni is from unified referring to unifying of purpose in one apartment.

[113] Buildings formerly only for commercial use, but converted for residential unicoms. A compound of commercial and multi-service.

[114] Be converted to a residential/commercial building. Like ‘going coop’ in days of old.

[115] Derived from fake or faux families.

[116] Derived from faux communities.

[117] Dialect languages.

[118] Prospective match for marriage in Yiddish.

[119] Homegrown, familiar family in Yiddish.

[120] New word for young man from the Yiddish young and man.

[121] Whispering so low that it sounded like breathing.

[122] Living space.

[123] Shortened version of crayshadicians.

[124] Giant medilbuilds. See note 111.

[125] Giant comserves. See note 113.

[126] The tallest of buildings even taller than skyscrapers.

[127] The hardest rock known to homozens of the terrasphere.

[128] Material similar in look and smell to tar that becomes as hard as a rock when dry. It also acts as a waterproofing agent in case of flooding from the surrounding water and/or hurricanes. From tar and the suffix -iment.

[129] System of government fueled by straight and simple voting. One homozen, one vote.

[130] Linked together in a kickable environment, thusly klinked.

[131] Living conditions are densely varipopulated to the degree that everyone is so close as to be within kicking distance. See note 52.

[132] Compound of brotherhood and betterment. Homozens are so unified that a palpable change in the comraderie of the living beings has taken place.

[133] Shortened endearing version of youngizens which brings us full circle to the ancient slang word youngins that was common in the Ozark mountains and southern portion of the former United States in the 19th and 20th centuries.

[134] To look beyond their set borders like “beyond the pale” referring to the Jewish Pale of Settlement of old.

[135] Growth and self-actualization in mind and body.

[136] Toxic lands outside the mothershield.

[137] The toxicity that followed the civicide that killed all living things.

[138] Expression formerly “tred lightly”. Footing is what they normally do to get around.

[139] Various points of egress. Opposite of varingress – see note 49.

[140] Bring forth to life from vivre.

[141] New expression for ‘spirit of brotherhood’. The feeling of brotherhood is as essential as breathing.

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