Friday, October 10, 2008

I want to knee you in the Ballsticles

Language evolves. If it didn't, we'd all still be grunting and howling at one another in our pungent cave dwellings, poking at the dying embers the lightening god left behind. Since words and sentences could escape from our lips (complete with a subject and predicate), humans have wrought new and more concise ways to communicate. It is famously said that Shakespeare added 1500 words to the English language. Technologies have arrived giving us new words like "Email" and "Scuba".

It is not unheard of for our culture to take a word, break it in half, and add another word like, for instance, "Workaholic". There is no such thing as "workohol", but it communicates the idea of work addiction in a way most of us understand. The same can be said for new compound words like, Infotainment. The term for this, new words added to mainstream vocabulary, is Neologism.

For a while there, the creation of a new word from two previously unrelated terms could get a quick laugh and some even tend to stick around if they are unexpected and smart. With all these new words swimming around, like desperate sperm swarming the egg of common use, it is easy for it to get out of control. And when it falls into the wrong hands, the result is gut churning:

Shut up. SHUT THE FUCK UP. This is not going to change your life. This is not going to change how you eat for the rest of your days. It's a frosty. And that's a spoon.

When the advertising industry trolls the internet, popular comedy programs, or night clubs for new and interesting way to make us laugh (or at least open our mouths wide enough to fill with food), it's like, as one of my friends put it, your parents trying to hang out with your friends. It's embarrassing, sad, and there's no way you can stop them. They're going to do it anyway.

Unfortunately, YouTube has been holding out on commercials that feature this word smash. So below is a partial list of attempted (shudder) neologisms that the advertising industry can thrust down out guffawing gullets:

Smunchy (Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita)
Cruncheweesy (Again....Taco Bell)
Nougatocity (Snickers)
Peanutopolis (Snickers - I believe in order for this to work it should actually be "Peanopolis" but I understand why focus group returns might feature cities made of penises.)
Substantialicious (Snickers...are they even trying?)
Thrillicious (Life water)

There are plenty more out there. If you'd like to add some, please go ahead.

Just know that with every addition, a dictionary dies.


NotNits said...

You forgot Chickenthusiast, from McDonald's.

I ... um ... know the guy who invented that one.

Crazypants said...

How 'bout shitacular? Craptastic? or the neologistically questionable ridonculous?

I hope you are getting schnockered on Disaronno as a write this.

joe g said...

I was actually in the room when the first 7-Eleven Slurpee "Brainfreeze" commercial was made.

NotNits said...

Oh, I just thought of one from the 80s! You're too young to remember this, Jen, but there was a throat lozenge called "N'ICE." The commercials always ended with someone, having just tried a N'ICE lozenge for the first time, saying, "It feels... slickery."

The other person in the room would reply, "Slickery?"

The first person would assert, "Yeah... Slick. Slippery. Slickery."

There was also an MB Financial Bank campaign not too long ago that featured ads that read "Better. Simpler. Easier. Betsimpsier."

-j-j- said...

Too young indeed...

I DO remember slickery! I remember it did NOT make me want to eat N'ICE.

(BTW: When you type "Slickery" into YouTube this is one of the things that shows up:

Why are the Dutch so weird?)

CP, I am even more troubled by the shortening of your last word to "Ridonk". And troubled further still that I actually use it.


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