A conversation about nothing.

This word is absolutely fantastic mainly as it is self-explanatory and very much needed, but is comes even more so considering the etymology of conversation.

Related Origin

In Old French and Latin, the root conversari or conversat means to live with, living together or more generally- having dealings with others. The sense of ‘talk’ was added to the word ‘conversation’ in the 1500’s as a synonym, prior to which this word mainly referred to sexual intercourse. 18th century legal terminology portrays adultery as criminal conversation; an adulterer, a rapist is, respectively, a conversationalist.

Simply said- ‘I conversed with him/her’ used to mean ‘I slept with him/her‘.  

Why this word?

Said it before, but I will say it again: at least 50% of conversations we have on a daily basis are nonversations.

A nonversation is as pointless as sexual intercourse without the ‘sexual’ or without the ‘intercourse’; it may be pleasant and fun, so can a nonversation, but it wouldn’t lead to substantial outcomes.

How to use nonversation?

I am assuming that this one is a noun, just as conversation. Simply say “Jane and me had such a funny nonversation the other day!”, or “I am sick and tired of having these nonversations with David, he never addresses real subjects!”

Had I been on the OED board, this was the first word to approve!


What do you think?

999 points
Upvote Downvote

Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.


Leave a Reply