Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Or alternatively, to Ging

We're not sure if this really is an emergent term, but let's just say it seems like one that's inevitable (obvious?), tho its stickiness is not guaranteed. Correspondent Seth today spotted this in an email that was internal to Microsoft:
... [blah-blah] the number hasn't been zero since early 2006 in my quick boogle.

Seth comments: "Given that it was an MSFT employee, I think he was trying to hint that he's used both major search engines." (One would have to understand that there is a certain informal peer pressure inside Microsoft to a) not use google as a verb and b) use Bing as search engine.)

The reason I say that the term seems obvious is that it's a natural formation that moreover has been claimed already: there is the site, which searches both engines and presents results side by side.

Beyond that, tho, things get murkier. (To me.) The site does a Google search but presents you with a page that displays a quotation and a picture in lieu of the standard Google home page. (Oh.) No tie to Bing that I can deduce. There's Boogle the game, which looks (to me) like a trademark-skirting variant on the game I know as Boggle.

The exceptionally unreliable Urban Dictionary lists one definition of boogle as:

A negative result to having Googled a person; to be shocked or repulsed by what you find out about a person you have just Googled; to Google someone with the intention of finding out something negative about them.

But really, that's as much as I've found in my few moments of poking around. We'll have to keep an ear out.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Stars of a different type

Wow, when did this become a productive suffix?

  • Rhee is a Grade-A edu-lebrity [#]
  • [Y]ou're far more likely to be picking through the sausage-makings as they just sort of spray willy-nilly out of the meat grinder of news-lebrity that has replaced the news. [#]
  • Ever want to know what it's like to log into Twitter as your favorite Twitter-lebrity? [#]
  • And there are perks to being a bona fide Z-lebrity [#]
  • Bornstein refers to herself as a "sub-lebrity" [#]

Update 9 April 2011: Here's a nice one: "'Glee' piano player happy as a 'sub-lebrity'. (Brad Ellis in the background of "Glee" as the club's accompanist.)

There's also C-lebrity, which appears in a number of guises, but most popularly as the name of a song by Queen, which of course dates it considerably. But it's unclear to me whether this is really intended to mean anything other than celebrity.

Anyway, this is another cran-morphy rejiggering of the morphological elements of the original, in which celebr is the nominal root, but in which -lebrity becomes instead the productive bit. (See also cheese-burger etc.)

These all strike me as pretty clever, but my sense is that they work better in written language than said out loud. A number of them are a bit awkward to say, possibly because they end up with sound sequences that don't entirely work -- news-lebrity, Twitter-lebrity. In the examples that are easier to pronounce (Z-lebrity, sub-lebrity), the aural resemblance to the original would require very careful enunciation to get across the point of the new formation. Still, it's always handy to have some new materials for making words.