Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Suitcasing Some New Words

Just learned a new word today.

No, not that kind of word. I already know plenty of those. The word is “glamping.” I know it’s a real word as I saw it on TV. So, I decided I’d check it out, and it means glamour camping. Actually, I would never think of putting glamour and camping together in the same sentence, but apparently, others have. One photo I saw online shows several folks camping, and they’re clinking their wine glasses together. So, it seems that as soon as you go into the wine realm when camping, you’re now glamping. To me, though, I don’t want to glamp anything. Sounds like some sort of bodily function that wouldn’t be too fun.

Got to say, though, I’m not the roughing-it type of camper, anyway. Wendy and I talk about buying a truck camper or something like that, but I don’t think we’ll do much of the primitive style anymore. My question is, how much comfort can I have while camping before someone says I’m glamping? And is it comfort-based, this odd transition from camping to glamping? Take the wine thing, for example. Is it just drinking wine that makes me a glamper, not a camper? What if I have some specialized import beer and not, say, Pabst in a can, am I considered a glamper? I can tell you from personal experience that some of the wines I drank back in the early days would definitely not have put me in the glamper category. Think MD 20/20 or Boone’s Farm. If you have those on a camping trip, you’re most certainly not glamping. Heck, you’re nearly feral if you have those.

But there are other words like glamping that concern me—these portmanteaus. And no, portmanteau isn’t one of my made-up words, though it sounds as though it could be. And it’s not some sort of aquatic mammal. According to my friends with Merriam-Webster, it’s a large suitcase. Okay, well, that’s one definition. It’s a blending of two or more words, smashing them together (I can sort of see the suitcase comparison—my clothes are like that when I travel.), as in smog (smoke and fog).

Now, I know, being a wordsmith, making up words myself all the time, I should be happy the English language is kept fresh and alive with this word evolution (wevolution?), but sometimes the Frankensteinishness of the new words, well, I think they could do better. Perhaps it’s just jealousy on my part, though. But let’s look at some more travel and leisure related words besides glamping.

For some time now we’ve had staycation, a peculiar blending of “staying home” and “vacation.” What’s wrong with just “staying home?” But one that sounds so, I don’t know, pretentious, is “honeyteering,” a mix of “honeymoon” and “volunteering.” This one sounds like something created by the travel industry so they can sell a vacation package to young adventurers (yadventurers?).

I figure, though, that I might as well saddle up and ride along, so I’m gonna toss out a few of my own. Hang on to your hats, folks:

This trend now toward serving a meal in movie theaters gives several possibilities. The company called Movie Tavern could call itself Mavern or Tovie. You’d be eating dinner while watching a movie and we could call it dovie. Might kill the dating industry, however. “Hey, Susie, want to catch a dovie?” Not sure about that one.

Then, there’s driving while texting (which I highly disapprove of), and you’d be a dexter.

Surfing while watching TV would be “swatching” or “wurfing.”

Multitasking is too long. Needs to be “masking.”

Stay-at-home moms and dads would be “stoms” or “stads.”

Well, I’ve probably overstayed my welcome (overcome? Welstayed?), so…

Words evolve, for good or ill. More on this subject at:

Keep writing, friends (kwends?)

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