Great Caesar's ghost, it IS a word
One of my fellow Testy Copy Editors begs to be told that wikify — presumably to construct as a wiki or incorporate into or adapt for a wiki — is not a word. I fear that there’s no help.
Whether something “is or is not a word” exercises many commentators on language and the people who pose questions to them. But that’s not the right question. The blunt fact is, and the linguists are right about this, that if it is comprehensible to another speaker of the language, it is a word. You may not care for impact as a verb, or worse, impactful, and you may hold up bootylicious between two fingers as you would pick up a slug from the sidewalk, but they are all words, and it is idle to contest that status.
Over at the blog Headsup, FEV points out that “the general philosophy around here is that it's best not to lose too much sleep banning new words and usages. Don't get us wrong; there are lots of them we cordially dislike, and if you want help in ridding yourself of verbs like ‘impact’ and ‘reference,’ we're here for you. (I'm starting to get exercised about ‘do-over,’ myself.) But we won't exile you for using the damn things. Just try not to do it in front of the kitties.”
The principles of evolution apply to language as well as to biology. Language is constantly throwing up variations and novelties, most of which perish after a brief span, but some of which endure. Look at the ever-entertaining Slang and Euphemism by Richard A. Spears. Take a word — we’ll try oaf, one of the more innocuous entries — and examine the richness of defunct vocabulary:
Addle-brain, bake-head, balatron, beanhead, beetle-brain, blockhead, blubberbrain, Boeotian, booberkin, Boobus americanus, butterball, cabbagehead, calf-lolly, chawbacon, chuff, clabber-head, cockscomb, cod, Country Jake, diddle-head, dillypot, dimbo, dink., doddypate, dodunk, donk, dooble, doof, dorbel, dorf, dorkmunder, Dorkus maximus, dromedary, drongo, droud, drube, and a full two and a half columns of close print to go.
It’s not up to the copy desk to legislate for the language, which is going to go where it wants to, throwing up and altering and discarding words with merry abandon. But we do get to have opinions about what is clear, what is precise, what is appropriate in context, and even, sometimes, what is elegant. Say otherwise, and risk being termed a looby.