January 05, 2004

New words from Silicon Valley

The San Jose Mercury News had a competition to make up new tech-related words for the vocabulary of Silicon Valley English, the constraint being that they had to differ by only one letter from a real word or lexicalized phrase. The results are out (Sunday, January 4, 2004), and some of the top-rated entries are quite cute. Among my favorites are these, some of which one can almost imagine catching on, despite how difficult it is to coin words that catch on:

banalysis: the minutiae to which television news viewers are subjected each time a major news story breaks. [Bruce Levin, Santa Cruz]

deaficit: a budget problem no one wants to hear about. [Michael and Janet Singer, Santa Cruz]

downloafing: surfing the net when you should be working. [Michael Vaughn, San Jose]

denture capitalist: financier whose agreements lack real teeth. [Ken Braly, San Jose]

egosystem: the self-sustaining collection of yes-men and sycophants who orbit around sports stars, celebrities, and various executives. [Katie Fitzgerald, Felton]

For more, look here.

Posted by Geoffrey K. Pullum at January 5, 2004 01:19 AM