Thursday, August 18, 2011

Neologistic Rant - Incentivize?

Readers of this blog know that I like to have fun with words. I am not a hater of coined phrases. But I must protest a recent media abuse attempt to coin a new phrase:

INCENTIVIZE

Seriously?

Wikipedia offers up many wonderful examples of neologisms:
"Popular examples of neologism can be found in science, fiction, branding, literature, linguistic and popular culture.
  • Examples include laser (1960) from Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, robotics (1941), and agitprop (1930)."
  • Popular literature examples include cyberspace, from "Neuromancer" by William Gibson.
  • Lewis Carroll has been called "the king of neologistic poems" because of his poem, "Jabberwocky", which incorporated invented words like chortle (a combination of 'chuckle' and 'snort') and slithy.
Popular culture phenomena have created many new phrases, such as jumping the shark from the 70s TV series Happy Days, and Internet.

Incentivize isn't fit to lick the boots of legitimate neologisms, IMHO.

The early bird gets the worm or so I have heard. It is true in this case:  Neologism Competition

I leave you to idly chortle over invented words. You will surely do better than incentivize.

6 comments:

Miranda said...

Amen! Languages always evolve, and it is frequently necessary to invent new words. However, it seems that just as often, people create words that are not necessary and are completely lacking in grace.

Sometimes it's using old words in new ways, too. The use of "gift" as a verb has always bothered me, for example. For heaven's sake, just say "give"; the word already exists! And where I work, we are always "trialing" some new process or other, instead of simply "trying" it. Drives me nuts.

I think that some people believe that doing things like this shows that they are smart, educated, or talented with words. IMHO, it shows just the opposite! There is an art to inventing neologisms. Some people have it and some don't; the wise know to which group they belong.

Fox said...

Oh yah - those slithy toves, gimbling all about - a-boot, here in Mable Leave territory - in the wabe....

'incenteltempt'" might be a tadpea better...?

Burbling Fox the Vex-hen : 0

Crazy Mom Tats! said...

Heh. You haven't been in corporate meetings lately, have you? You'll find a TON of stupid, made-up words and phrases, used with all seriousness. Makes me feel kinda sick.

Jane S. said...

Incentivize?? Now that's just silly.

Karrieann said...

...at times I like to create words for fun.
What irks me about using words by politicians and media is the miss use of them!

Lets take the word transparent! The President uses it all the time, and the media too.. and now other politicians.

Transparent, transparency
trans·par·ent (trns-pârnt, -pr-)
adj.
1. Capable of transmitting light so that objects or images can be seen as if there were no intervening material. See Synonyms at clear.
2. Permeable to electromagnetic radiation of specified frequencies, as to visible light or radio waves.
3. So fine in texture that it can be seen through; sheer. See Synonyms at airy.
4.
a. Easily seen through or detected; obvious: transparent lies.
b. Free from guile; candid or open: transparent sincerity.
5. Obsolete Shining through; luminous.

Now, since many politicians are solid matter... seeing right through them would be difficult, but then again....mmmhmmm maybe not.

Tatskool said...

oh yeah we have had that one here too, going to be one of the new in words that they will use endlessly. Like 'copper fastened'. One of the ones we hate is the expression 'the last number of days' Hubby shouts at the TV...'What number!'