Some of the words mentioned in this thread: apophenia, pareidoliacal, rupophobia, lachanphobia; can we really say these are English words? They're basically borrowed directly from other languages. When do we decide that such thoroughly foreign words are English words in fact?
Yup, we surely can. Quincy. English loves borrowed words, always has. I wonder what percentage of English "words" are actually borrowed. I suspect that it is very high.
I watched the American Spelling Bee finals for the first time recently, and almost all the words the kids were asked to spell were basically foreign words that were maybe perhaps used once or twice by some pretentious writers. Shouldn't we be encouraging kids to learn English words?
There is and was a great deal of pretentiousness in this, of that there is no doubt. But just because one borrowed word is obscure doesn't mean that it doesn't have a place in English beside another, more frequently borrowed word.