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.

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