[lit-ideas] linguistic productivity

  • From: Julie Krueger <juliereneb@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2012 12:43:53 -0600

From Qunion's "World Wide Words"

*<<End of the year show* No sooner had the smoke and din of Guy Fawkes Day
subsided than Oxford Dictionaries announced its Word of the Year 2012. I
swear such annual publicity exercises are, like Christmas advertising,
shifting earlier in the calendar. Oxford’s choice is *omnishambles* (a word
previously featured here <http://wwwords.org/?OMNSM>). It is defined as “a
situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a
string of blunders and miscalculations”. One reason for the choice is its
linguistic productivity: not only have we had the adjective *omnishambolic* but
also derived forms, including *Romneyshambles* for the tactless comments on
London’s ability to host a successful Olympic Games by the US presidential
candidate Mitt Romney. Another is *Scomnishambles*, a Scottish
omnishambles, coined in October when the Scottish government had to admit
it hadn’t sought legal advice on whether an independent Scotland could join
the European Union. As Oxford Dictionaries points out, the word may prove
to be temporary and never join other coinages in dictionaries.>>

Julie Campbell
Julie's Music & Language Studio
1215 W. Worley
Columbia, MO  65203

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