gossipology/ist + fakexpert

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jan 16 09:57:01 UTC 2011

What brought me to the blog called Gossipology was the fact that the
word appeared in a rather different meaning. The blog was started back
in 2006 and had a total of 4 posts--three within the first week and
another in 2009. The original intent was to combine gossip+-ology for an
analysis/knowledge of gossip.


Clearly the effort did not succeed, aside from a possible late
additional cite for OED for one of the uses of "snatch" (snatch n.
14--last cite in 1978).

> Jenny of I Don't Like You That Way thinks PJ Harvey, a musician she
> cheerfully admits to knowing nothing about, should get her snatch waxed.

The same use of "gossipology" shows up here in 2005.


And it does seem to imply general understanding of "gossip" (actually,
specifically, celebrity gossip):

> A:A good first degree in gossipology and intimidation tactics.
> B: Proficiency in the use of information communication technology;
> especially the use of PMs, Facebook, skype and others.
> C: Reasonable Pmming experience.

But the "gossipology" I was trying to locate is a portmanteau of
gossip+psychology--not quite the same thing. There are plenty of ghits
for "gossipology" (~37K raw), fewer for "gossipologist" (~6K raw), but
most appear to be spurious. Most of the real ones appear to be of the
first variety, although a few people have picked up on the second, which
carries a heavy negative connotation (see below).

It all started with a blog post on a NYT story of the interview of the
ex-girlfriend of the Tucson shooter Loughner who claimed that he is
faking mental illness. Sure enough, a comment linked to an Ira
Rosofsky's blog post at Psychology Today, decrying the desire to
diagnose mental illness from a brief description in a newspaper or even
from a couple of YouTube videos. (He is off by a few hours on who had
the first "diagnosis", as Rand Paul offered his "medical opinion" even

In particular, Rosofsky cites a blog post by "a UK psychologist, Gary Wood":

Vegetarians Don't Eat Meat and Proper Psychologists Don't Gossip About
18 December, 2009
> I've read of so-called reputable psychologists (read
> '*gossipologists*') offering mental health diagnoses of celebrities.

If "gossipologist" in this sense takes off (doubtful), this would be the
starting point. But "gossipology" only shows up here as a tag.

In the line above the one I cited, there is another "coinage" that might
be of interest.

> They [sic] only time I make an exception is when everyone jumps on the
> bandwagon and bullies a celebrity, as in the over-night fame of Susan
> Boyle and subsequent press intrusion and 'expert' (*fakexpert*)
> speculation. . . even then it's only to counter the BS.

Both terms--fakexpert and gossipology--were actually "coined" by Wood a
few months earlier, as far as I can tell.

Gender, Cave People & an Apology for Psychology
23 June, 2009
> Now we expect the host of 'fakexperts' to resort to 'cavepeople'
> analogies because many of them may well not be expert at interpreting
> research data or know where to find evidence-based resources.
> ...
> Invariably,  what we have is not even an apology for psychology but
> bull-shit based psychobabble and 'gossipology'.

Interestingly, one can find random comments in other places that mention
"fakexpert", which is why I qualified "coined" with quotation marks, but
none in UK:

Posted by Dauntless
3 Feb 2009 12:33:46 GMT
> doesn't have a Cn capsule :(
> the lil girlie has never even seen one for real :)
> all big 'fakexpert' talk is on the web!
> whatta Looo000SER!!

Posted by DST4ME
29 Oct 2008 at 12:16pm [time zone? The company is from California]
> but ya nothing is guaranteed, but if you want to go with what happens
> most times, then most times the q9650 will OC higher then q9550, and
> if you come across anybody that thinks most times the q9550 will OC
> higher, then don't let that person touch your PC cause thats a "fakexpert"

Posted by saleemkhan
02:07 PM EDT April 13, 2008
> We (journalists) must blame ourselves for poor choices & creating
> fakexperts<http://twitter.com/saleemkhan/statuses/788370247>

Posted by indiefan23
06-15-2009, 01:47 PM (GMT -4)
> I wrote about the fakexperts here... Annoyed with the silly fools, I
> am, so I made fun of them instead.

Posted by madnice
Friday, November 16, 2007 8:34:00 AM
> see thats why you have blog. i havent seen the "fakexperts" mention this.

Posted by madnice
Thursday, May 08, 2008 10:23:00 AM
> And these clowns fakexperts need to calm down thinking that Paul has
> reinvented the position.

Posted by madnice
Tuesday, June 03, 2008 9:08:00 AM [time zone?]
> Its about time people are realizing your work, David. All of the other
> sites, stupid nba shows, and fakexperts are no where near.

To be honest, I am not entirely sure how to pronounce "fakexpert". Now,
"sexpert" I can deal with--that's easy!

I've heard both "fakespert" and "gossipology" (but not "gossipologist")
live--occasionally from friends and once or twice from TV, although I
would be hard pressed to cite chapter and verse. "Sexpert" is quite
common and I am not going to bother with it.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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