I have a pet peeve. Well, I have many pet peeves (like the one I go on about the most: off leash dogs in on leash areas), but today I am focusing on words created by taking part of a word and mushing it with part of another word to create a stupid new word. Yes, I know all about portmanteau, the art of combining words into brilliant new words that convey both original meanings, blah blah blah. I appreciate a fine portmanteau. I love eating brunch. My pet peeve is portmanteau abuse.
Some blends are witty and inspired; most are not as clever as the inventors and bandwagon jumpers believe them to be. Popular writing is saturated with pointless mash-ups posing as clever additions to the English language. Not every celebrity couple needs a blended name. Not every weather event is an aggedon or ocalypse. Not ever scandal is a gate. Not every vice is an oholism or a gasm. Not ever word requires a masculine version with bro or man or m. Not everything twitter related word needs to begin with tw. The running lexicon has not been left untouched. I have long advocated against rampant misuse of ending every long-lasting event with athon. Danceathon. Bikeathon. TVShowathon.
Today in my twitter feed from @runnersworld:
I propose that too many unsuspecting words have been mercilessly sliced and diced and recombined in a cruel and useless manner. Runcation. I rest my case.
Title: Stealers Wheel – Stuck in the Middle With You. 1972.