twizzle, vingle, idolspize

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Feb 28 13:27:33 UTC 2006

Pop talk
A handful of reasons to be excited about pop culture this week
Sunday, February 26, 2006

TRENDS/Increase your word power!

Just when you got the hang of 2005's word-of-the-year, "truthiness"
(thank you, Stephen Colbert), comes a new crop of words nobody needed
to invent. Thanks to the ice-dancing competitions at the Turin Winter
Olympics, the general public now knows about the "twizzle"
foot-turn-glide. Yes, twizzle sounds silly, but we're talking
ice-dancing here. But what about the ultra-hip techsters at Apple, who
are trying to trademark the term "vingle"? On the simplest level,
vingles are downloadable music videos on iTunes (though the trademark
application suggests they have larger, multimedia network world
domination plans in mind). But on the gag-me level, it sounds like a
skin condition. Much more likely to catch on: Washington Post writer
Ann Hornaday's new coinage, "idolspize," invented to describe the
idolize-despise mixed emotions occasioned by the fabulous lives of
people like writer and former Portlander Susan Orlean.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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