Friends of Semantic Compositions

January 2009

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Site Statistics

Blog powered by Typepad

« I don(u)t want that | Main | Pharmaceutical phonesthemes »

December 01, 2004


polyglot conspiracy

I think we should call this a "dortmanteau" = "double portmanteau."
"glog" = "great blog"
"dechortle" = "deep chortle"
"bootyliciass" = "bootylicious ass" (though that seems redundant)
"plaspork" = "plastic spork"
"foped" = "fast moped"
"fauxped" = "faux moped"
"scelevangelist" = "scary televangelist"
"tweengst" = "tween angst"
"motelper" = "motel helper"
"binfotainment" = "bad infotainment"
"tramedy" = "tragic dramedy"

polyglot conspiracy

(That was, sadly, the most fun I've had all week.)


It's a bit unclear whether you think that vog itself falls into the ridiculous compound word category or not. I get the impression that you do, which motivates the following.

I'd argue that vog falls squarely into the "quite sane" word category, since it is a) short and easy to say/remember and b) refers to a specific portion of the world that is not easily referred to by any other preexisting word/phrase. I guess the phrase "regularly occurring pollution from the volcano" works in place of vog, but even that is still rather vague (Is it ash? Is it lava? Is it hot air? Is it sulfur dioxide? Is it some mix of those? Is it something else?). Thus coining the compound word vog allows residents/volcanologists of the region to specifically describe a condition familiar to them in a single, short word that they can all understand.

And does it really matter if the derivation is "hopelessly opaque," as long as people know what you mean when you say the word?


The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That's pride f*cking with you. F*ck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps.

The comments to this entry are closed.