The Web 2.0 Guide to Loving Neologisms


Sam Jackson

Have you ever been talking shit with friends and heard someone scream, "I hate that fucking word!" (Probably right after they themselves have just said, "Web 2.0”). Hipsters. That's why I've become a proud neologophile. I hereby challenge the rest of you neologophobes to explore and embrace the rich ecology of made-up words, because otherwise, you're just living in the past. Don't be afraid; we'll go at a nice, leisurely pace...



Let's look first at words that are used to describe the realm of neologisms itself:
  • Protologism — a neologism that is not yet widely-accepted. It could be argued that the word itself is a protologism, which makes for some interesting pretzel-symantics. As compared to a neologism, which enjoys some popularity.

  • Metaneologism — a true protologism, since I could find no use of it on the Web. It is the class of words we are defining right now in this paragraph, so my official definition is: a word that describes the class of newly-coined words. Like protologism, it falls into the class of words it is used to describe, i.e., metaneologism is a metaneologism; so are protologism and neologism.

  • Neologophobophobe — a foreseen smart-ass attempt to mock me by creating a ridiculous protologism, but which I am hereby revealing as the fraud that it is (so don't even try it, or I'll tell everyone you're a neologophobophile).
Before we continue, we should consider an important point. Sometimes rejection of a given neologism is simply the right thing to do, like when marketing dorks start abusing it to sell a product. This makes "Web 2.0” — the most cited Wikipedia entry of 2006 — an interesting case study. The term was coined in 2004 as the title for a series of tech conferences, and such conferences are little more than marketing bonanzas. But just because big business co-opts something doesn't make it invalid, just as some words that business will never co-opt are never considered valid. (Example: Synergism.)


OK, with all that out of the way, we can move on to our vocabulary list of neologisms and protologisms. Study the following thoroughly:
  • Blogosphere — used ironically, except not, since everyone knows exactly what it means.

  • Folksonomy — the spontaneous cooperation of a group of people to organize information into categories; not to be confused with the protologism, folktsunami — the wave of global usage which swamps the language, leading ultimately to a folksonomy.

  • Diary-a — the act of passing off self-indulgent journal-style entries as informational weblog entries.

  • Hyperclink — a URL possessing an obvious mistake.

  • Linkpimping — shamelessly emailing bloggers with "tips" on link-worthy posts you "discovered" (i.e., wrote), to boost your Technorati ranking.

  • Re-coining — the act of adding to or replacing the definition of a neologism whose meaning is, despite its youth, varied and muddy.

  • Netrosexual — I'm re-coining this one out of historical necessity. Its new, protologistic definition is: a person whose corporeal being is so devoid of sexuality that they overcompensate online in horrific and often malicious ways.
  • Tail-o-vision — the long tail of the coming internet video economy, poised to supplant the dominance of television. (Can be shortened to tailvision for aesthetic purposes.)

  • Flickle — the emotional state of a Netflix user who is no longer sure they want to watch the movies they have added to their account, ushering in a frantic session of queue re-ordering.

  • Goothenasia — the phenomenon of Google attempting to perfect the Web, and instead swallowing and digesting it. Can also be called, "Grey Google," after grey goo, the runaway nano-replicator doomsday scenario.
See how fun that can be? Your turn. Use these words in a sentence in the comments, or define some of your own.

Destiny contributed to this article.

See Also:
iPhone Debate: I'm a Mac vs. Bill Gates
Pulp Fiction Parodies on YouTube

3 thoughts to “The Web 2.0 Guide to Loving Neologisms”

  1. Ah yesss… A favorite peev & love of mine, the neologism. I do so miss Matt Groening’s year end collection of ‘words that have to die’ published in his comic, “Life in Hell” . As the epic hero thread his way between Scylla and Charybdis, so must we, modern semantic odysseonauts navigate between the whirlpool of masturbatory obscurantism and the rocks of semiotic collision and negation. Bring the new linguistic stoichiometry!
    But as a collector of slang and a deep jargon plumber, I have become known in certain depraved circles as a florid progenitor of protologisms, a font of turgid mongrel babblelalia. Behold! : “schnozznosticator”-the woman at the end of the bar with the big nose who would know the future of a certain nose fetishist I know; “janktify” – to rig or improvise with the crudest of available material and technique (“good enough/apocalyptic engineering”); “malatropism” – a protologic term that would emphasize the most repressed aspect of subject (ex. “tender-monkey-hole”); “jumboshrimpcyberfriend” speaks for itself; and i dare to claim “baconomicon” – the dark and holy forbidden book of public secrets, the sacred text of our Lord, Bacon. Huzzah!

  2. We’ve been collecting neologisms since 1985, originally distributed as Hypercard stacks for the Mac. Times have changed but always interested in getting more contributions.

  3. internet video does eat a lot of bandwidth but hey i love to watch internet videos any time of the day `

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.