The book cover of Grant Crowell’s “Grantasms.” 

Grantasms is a book of words made up by Grant Crowell, who created them for laughs, personal growth and creative inspiration. Crowell started coming up with words in 2013 before collecting them in 2017 to create his Grantasms dictionary.

A University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa alumnus, Crowell graduated in the summer of 1995 as an art major. The words in his book are inspired by his stories.

“They help me better connect and converse with people everywhere,” Crowell said. “They also playfully encourage others to do the same.”

A “Grantasm” is what he refers to as a made-up word or phrase with a personal story that creates a connection individually or with people. He discovered that after five years of actively sharing his made-up words, they could be used for more than laughs. 

“They are also extremely beneficial with improving social skills, managing social awkwardness and anxiety and overall well-being,” he said. “I am someone with ADHD, who learned how to manage and thrive with it because I have Grantasms.”

Born and raised in Hawai‘i, Pidgin to Da Max, a book by Douglas Simonson, was one of Crowell’s inspirations. He recalls reading it like a second dictionary, enjoying the cartoons and more. The book taught Crowell how language can be fun; that it is something to play with and share.

“Social anxiety, awkwardness, distractions, and impulsivity are all things that the college crowd struggles with more than older adults today,” Crowell said. “I found that my ADHD could be managed successfully when I found a creative outlet for turning distractions into directions, frustrations into word creations, and social awkwardness into fun icebreakers and warm social relations.”

His experience led him to create Grantasms. The book was published in November 2019 and is available on Amazon.

Features Editor

Doris Kung is the Features Editor at Ka Leo. She is currently a senior double majoring in Fashion Design and Merchandising and Journalism. Combining her interests in fashion and journalism, Doris wants to work for a fashion publication after graduation.