New PR terms: Love or hate them?

Sometimes invented words show mere ignorance. Some, such as these beauties, walk a fine line between madness and brilliance.


Neologisms: 1: a new word, usage, or expression; 2: a meaningless word coined by a psychotic.

Let’s go with definition No. 1.

This is an exercise many people engage in, including the Sunday NY Times Magazine, with its column, “That should be a Word.” There’s also my husband, who invented “clerty” – a mashup of “clean” and “dirty” for when one is undecided whether a dress shirt should be dry cleaned or could handle in one more wearing.

In PR, where clever portmanteaus (or annoying coinages, take your pick) are the norm.

Here are some interesting terms that have recently popped up and some PR-usage examples:

HURRICATION: The unexpected day off work or school resulting from a nearby hurricane, producing enough rain and wind to shut everything down for a day or two, but not enough of a direct hit to cause damage or worry. “The hurrication caused by Superstorm Sandy left us unable to conduct any of our weekly client conference calls.”

INCOMMODEICADO: The state of being in the bathroom without a cell phone. “I excused myself from the marathon meetings to return a reporter’s call on deadline but found myself incommodeicado!”

FLIPOCRITE: One who openly justifies doing what one can’t abide in others. “We found it so flipocritical that the marketing director started Facebook advertising after they told us how stupid it was for their competitor!”

POVERTUNITY: A job that comes with no salary but has the promise of advancement. “Although it wasn’t the position she was hoping for, the offer presented a povertunity she couldn’t pass up.”

EMIND: To remind by email. “Don’t bother to call anyone on the team about tomorrow’s presentation; you have to emind them.”

CREDIBULL: Unbelievable claims made by one who is considered to be an authority. “The AE on the account had made the pitch successfully so many times, she even started to believe her own credibull.”

TEXTERITY: The ability to deftly compose a text message. “Balancing a large Starbucks order for the client and his entourage didn’t affect her texterity one iota.”

GRAMMANDO: One who constantly corrects others’ linguistic mistakes. “I’ve never met a PR person who could resist going grammando on anyone’s typos.” See also: Dictaplinarian (enforces correct pronunciation); Spellot (takes a red pen to all documents).

FIDGITAL: Excessively checking one’s devices. “You could tell the meeting was over when no one was paying attention and everyone had gone fidgital.”

DAUNTLET: A small but overwhelming task. “Even though it was just a simple press release, the subject matter presented an overwhelming dauntlet.”

A version of this article originally appeared on the Crenshaw Communications blog.

Topics: PR

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