Craptastic newspeak


Portmanteau: a word formed by blending sounds from two or more words and combining their meanings. All the cool kids are doing it now but that doesn’t mean it’s good, right?

Hijacking perfectly good words


Take ‘neutraceuticals’ for example. It combines two perfectly good words into one dismal one.

  • Nutrient: a chemical that an organism needs to live and grow.
  • Pharmaceutical: chemical substances intended for use in medical diagnosis, cure, treatment, or prevention of disease.
  • Neutraceutical: supplements that are “not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease”, but designed to promote ‘wellness’.

So nutraceuticals are in fact, neither nutri nor ceutical.


More frenemies

  1. Bromance: brother, romance – a platonic friendship between two men
  2. Frenemy: friend, enemy – an enemy disguised as a friend or to a friend who is also a rival
  3. Staycation: stay, vacation – a holiday spent at home
  4. Twi-hards : Twilight, Die-hard – used to describe fans of the Twilight series
  5. Refudiate: repudiate and refute, coined by Sarah Palin
  6. Octodamus: octopus, Nostradamus- used to describe Paul the psychic octopus
  7. Insania: insanity, mania – coined by Peter Andre
  8. Scandal-gate: (any scandal, Watergate)
  9. Gleek: Glee,geek – fans of the TV show Glee
  10. Bridezilla: bride, Godzilla- a demanding bride-to-be
  11. Brangelina: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie
  12. Mockumentary: mock, documentary
  13. Guesstimate: guess, estimate
  14. Scrooge: screw, gouge – coined by Charles Dickens
  15. Squiggle: squirm, wiggle
  16. Chortle: chuckle, snort – coined by Lewis Carroll
  17. Portmanteau: from the French porte (carry),manteau (coat) – hence a coat hook
  18. Lipsmackinthirstquenchinacetastinmotivatingood
    Pepsi’s used this 100-letter portmanteau in their 1973 TV and film advertising

4 Responses to Craptastic newspeak

  1. Julien July 25, 2010 at 23:58 #

    Good post, but did you intend to post this on Bad Language instead?

    • Matthew Stibbe July 26, 2010 at 04:27 #

      Yes, indeed. I use Live Writer and occasionally mispost from one blog to the other. Matthew

  2. Sylvia July 26, 2010 at 09:34 #

    Haha, I thought exactly that. We must be able to come up with some aviation examples though, don't you think?

    • Matthew Stibbe July 26, 2010 at 10:17 #

      Yes, we must be able to! 🙂 Here are two for starters. Gulfstream PlaneView or Dassault EASy are two examples of marketing over substance in aviation.

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