An editorial this Wednesday in The Times discussed the latest measures taken in England to counter the spread of COVID. It talks about ‘the public’s weariness with measures to contain the spread’.
In this sentence, weariness is a noun derived from the adjective weary and it means tiredness. Reading this sentence, I wondered whether we could do with another noun, derived from the verb to wear, meaning a propensity to wear something. So the public’s weariness to wear masks could mean the public’s propensity to wear them.
We would spell my new word in the same way as the existing weariness, but pronounce it in the same way as wariness. It might usefully fill a (very small) gap in the English lexicon.
Recently, I received an email from a friend who – for Christmas card mailing purposes – asked whether I would be spending the holidays in Hong Kong or in the USA (I have homes in both places). Would a new word ‘whereiness’ have made their inquiry simpler?
Nice idea, though people might struggle to work out the intended meaning from the written form. Maybe a hyphen could show the split between the components where-iness.