I Can Has Integrity?

Blogging today comes at the suggestion/intervention of a co-worker. Happy to oblige the readership.

Her quandary: Is there another form of “has integrity”, one that denotes ownership with a verb of being as opposed to has/have? So an adjectival form of the noun “integrity”.

Honestly? No Idea.

I jokingly suggested “integral” but I’m thinking “integrous” [urban dictionary] [wiktionary] works better. After all, a person can be generous and have generosity in their hearts – why not be able to express both concepts for integrity?

From reading the sources above, it seems as though you can, but folks don’t feel comfortable doing so because they’re too integrous or deferential, actually, to normative English-speaking. At least here in the States; I can’t speak for others.

Oh, and if you’ve ever wondered about being “whelmed” or “gruntled” – these came up in our discussion as well – I’ve got just the blog posts for you.


4 thoughts on “I Can Has Integrity?

  1. It’s not an oversight in the language, it’s a statement on the nature of integrity. Your “integrous” implies something with a likening to integrity, a semblance of it — as the definition for generous involves “showing a readiness to give more of something” but does not necessarily involve the actual giving. That is, an adjective likens, but a noun IS.

    Something that is like integrity is not integrity; that’s part of the unique nature of integrity, isn’t it? It is complete and solid. It is, according to the OAD, “whole and undivided.” A semblance of, a likening to wholeness, doesn’t count toward integrity. If a thing isn’t complete, then it is incomplete — all qualities shy of completeness are incomplete. Being “almost complete” doesn’t get to share the word for completeness. Being complete isn’t an adjectival idea, it’s a definition of a thing’s state.

    In English, the notion of something being adjacent to integrity, almost but not complete, is wobbly by design. It’s a precarious and unfinished state, meant to seem peculiar in speech. In part, I think this is to protect the quality of integrity as an idea.

    “Integrous” is, therefore, absurd. Which is not to say it’s necessarily invalid — I think absurdity is sort of what you’re after in your usage — but just having it in play runs the risk of it becoming parlance (see “Internets”) and losing its impact. When the idea of something-near-to-but-less-than-integrity becomes a state so easily regarded and described that it is “close enough,” we’re in trouble.

    (Too much?)

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