Word Wizards, Create a Thing by Naming It

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timberline
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Word Wizards, Create a Thing by Naming It

Postby timberline » Wed May 19, 2004 8:56 am

Okay, girls and boys, let’s consider neologisms. If future generations have forgotten you, at least they’ll remember WORDS YOU HAVE INVENTED!

Imagine being the person who coined the word BEATNIK. That was Herb Caen, columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. For Mr. Caen, there were two shots at immortality. He also created HIPPIE to describe the generation that followed the beatniks chronologically and in spirit.

John W. Tukey was another immortal. He created SOFTWARE. “Three decades before the founding of Microsoft,” the New York Times wrote in his obit, “Mr. Tukey saw that ‘soft-ware,’ as he called it then, was...at least as important as the hardware of tubes, transistors, wires, and the like.” A dozen years earlier, at Bell Labs, he coined the word BIT, an abbreviation of binary digit.

Variety, the daily newspaper of show biz, is famous for creating a host of neologisms. They claim such commonplace terms as sex APPEAL, CORNY and SITCOM. Their glossary is listed at www.variety.com, and includes BOFFO, MOPPET, SCRIPTER and dozens of other insider terms.

The new term METROSEXUAL was widely used last year. It was referred to the stoic, self-denying, modest straight male who didn’t shop enough, and who had to be replaced by a new kind of man less certain of his identity and more interested in his image. The word was coined in the mid 1990s by columnist Mark Simpson in Salon.com.

Management theorist Elliott Jacques coined the phrase MID-LIFE CRISIS. Did we know there was a mid-life crisis before it was invented, and are we better now for knowing?

Now, the challenge. Look around you at the world. What new thing needs a word? You have a shot at immortality (kind of).
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JB
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Postby JB » Wed May 19, 2004 11:43 am

newsaphobia...

the fear of turning on the news
"So. You're famous?"

My son to Kinky Friedman at the author's book signing.
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timberline
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Postby timberline » Wed May 19, 2004 11:57 am

JB, I love it! A sorta DATADREAD? (Angst for the memories, Mr. Brokaw.)
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com
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JB
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Postby JB » Wed May 19, 2004 12:00 pm

datadread ....that is better....covers more ground..lol
"So. You're famous?"



My son to Kinky Friedman at the author's book signing.
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Ran
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Postby Ran » Wed May 19, 2004 12:06 pm

I got these from a friend so I can't take credit for inventing them, but someone was thnking ;o)

BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

SEAGULL MANAGER: A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.

ASSMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.

SALMON DAY: The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.

CUBE FARM: An office filled with cubicles.

PRAIRIE DOGGING: When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.

MOUSE POTATO: The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.

SITCOMs: Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.

STRESS PUPPY: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiney.

SWIPEOUT: An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.

XEROX SUBSIDY: Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace copy machine.

IRRITAINMENT: Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. The J-Lo and Ben wedding (or not) was a prime example.

PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

ADMINISPHERE: The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

404: Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested document could not be located.

GENERICA: Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, and subdivisions.

OHNOSECOND: That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake.

WOOF'S: Well-Off Older Folks.

CROP DUSTING: Surreptitiously farting while passing through a Cube Farm.
Some mornings it just doesn't seem worth it to
gnaw through the leather straps.
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timberline
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Postby timberline » Thu May 20, 2004 8:40 am

In the current issue of the New Yorker, Seymour Hersh reports Major General Geoffrey Miller relocated from Guantánamo to Baghdad to GITMOIZE the Abu Ghraib prison. Gitmo is, of course, GI shorthand for the U.S. base in Cuba.

On a more humane note, I remember my then-three-year-old telling me to find the FEVER METER because he had a temperature. Ain’t English wonderfully elastic?
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com
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TheMudge
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Postby TheMudge » Thu May 20, 2004 8:59 am

How about "wordtrip?" We can thank CP for that one . . .

And we can thank Jill and Hiss for turning "tangent" into a verb . . .

The language is indeed flexible . . . but why do we invent terms when perfectly good ones exist?

Take "google", for example. Saying you "Googled" something is FAR easier than saying "I did an internet search using a popular portal-slash-search engine." OK, fine.

But "metrosexual"? Isn't it easier to just say "loser"? Or--if you like the exotic feel--how about "poseur"? I LOVE that word!
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Postby Quicksilver Wolf » Fri May 21, 2004 4:17 am

Gay: guys on The Block and other such renovation shows which all suck. Thus the term Gay.

I dunno. Maybe it's the crapulant generation I'm stuck in. Hey, there's one: CRAPULENT - affuent little shits who don't do what they're told because they think they're so good (also because they've been mothered TOO much) and then wonder why everything falls apart around them.
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