Sunday, January 20, 2008

I Need A Word For ...

Getting sucked into to viewing an informercial at 3 in the morning. You're minding your own business channel-surfing and then some host in a contrived talk show set sucks you in. There's lots of smiling and clapping, ... and next thing you know, you've killed 30 minutes learning about how to get your Beach Body in just 90 days.

If you submit a word within the next five minutes, you'll receive a second copy of the as-of-yet unpublished Quixotica absolutely free. Yes, that's right.

I wish there were a channel of nothing but old infomercials, ... kinda like an ESPN Classic for cheesy advertisements. After all, who can deny the power of the Flowbee? Or the sharpness of a Ginsu knife? Don't you miss watching Jack LaLanne drinking carrot juice? He's still alive, BTW, and will turn 94 later this year.

Remember the one with a British guy in a bowtie that sets a car hood on fire, ... and then waxes the car's hood to a like-new shine? And I feel like I've grown up with Carleton Sheets and his no-money down system for buying real estate. And who could forget Don LaPre and his empire built on classified ads. My Rich Dad wouldn't.

But wait, there's more

Did You Know?:
The word infomercial is a portmanteau.

A portmanteau (IPA: /pɔrtˈmæntoʊ/), plural portmanteaux, is a word or morpheme that fuses two or more words or word parts to give a combined or loaded meaning. A folk usage of portmanteau refers to a word formed by combining both sounds and meanings from two or more words (e.g., spork from spoon and fork, animatronics from animated and electronics, guesstimate from guess and estimate, wikipedia from wiki and encyclopedia, or ginormous from gigantic and enormous). Typically, portmanteaux are nonce words or neologisms. Portmanteaux are commonly used in science fiction for a wide variety of technical words, such as cyborg from cybernetic and organism.

Thumbing through the Quixotic archives, I believe that urgasm, obloof and tryptophantasy would be considered portmanteaux.

1 comment:

G Wolf said...

Bill Simmons coined a word for something similar, but I think it's applicable here: SLANFARE.

It stands for "Surfing Late At Night For Anything Remotely Entertaining."

Alternatively, you could say you're going on a "SLANFARI" where the last letter stands for "Interesting".