OK, important milestone in the evolution of WitSnapper! I’m initiating my first recurring blog feature: the Blogger Neologism Watch. The BNW will kick in whenever I see (or my attention is directed to) an instance of a blogger coining a kewl new term of his or her own invention. Candidates will be judged on originality, catchiness, insight, and possible or proven staying power.
Today amid my blogsurfing, I spotted a fantabulous new buzzword referring to Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK), and in retrospect the source surprises me not one whit.
Now, bloggers (some more than others) have a particular addiction to making up words of their own, due in large part no doubt to the absence of the stifling finger-waggery of editors. Occasionally one will catch on like a virus, and its use will (what else?) go viral. Some exceptional cases are even selected for induction into the Oxford English Dictionary.
Bill Quick of DailyPundit is credited with coining the term blogosphere to refer to the community of blogs and bloggers as a whole. Neologist extraordinaire Jim Treacher brought us the term splodeydope to describe a suicide bomber, and also Instalanche so that all the bloggers whose traffic rates spike due to a link from Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit might have a one-word exclamation to post in response. (By the way, anybody know who was the first to pay proper homage to Prof. Reynolds as the Blogfather?) This is the kind of language-oriented inventiveness by bloggers that the BNW is intended to encourage.
(And before you ask: yes, using the same standards, my own neologisms may percolate onto these pages as well. I kind of know the guy who runs this blog.)
On a related note, while bloggers (by definition) will be given preference for this honor, I will also entertain candidates from the mainstream media, especially if they are coined online, and doubly especially if the neologism in question gains currency among bloggers. Washington Post columnist (and former clinical psychiatrist) Charles Krauthammer’s Bush Derangement Syndrome is a textbook example. (And later, “Bush Derangement Syndrome: Cheney Variant.” OK, that one isn’t exactly clever…it bears mention mostly due to its sequel power. A “legacy nominee,” if you will.)
Speaking of Krauthammer’s BDS, I’ll let that be the lead-in for today’s Blogger Neologism.
Tom Smith at The Right Coast has inspired me to find out who came up with the new name for the most recent variation on BDS, applied to the earlier-mentioned Gov. Palin ever since she entered the national stage as Sen. John McCain’s running mate. And I found out: the coiner of the term is distinguished lawblogress Ann Althouse, ten days ago.
The neologism? Palinsanity. Use it in good health.