Procedural criteria

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Thu Jan 17 03:10:43 UTC 2008

>"Healthscare" is a new age fraud tactic,

How cute! "New age" is still being used? What's more, its use has, in
my experience, been limited to straw-man abuse of left-wingers,
"postmodernists," and other fuzzy chimerae that reactionaries love to
revile. But in the case of "healthscare" the target is not exactly
that at all. I'm not entirely sure just why "new age" is being tossed
in here.

On the other hand, the idea that there's somehow an official place
where new words can be recognized is equally cute, almost charming,
except in that it has a sort of commercial mentality to it -- I made
this word, so let's see if I can get acknowledgement for it and get
it out there -- which partakes, really, of the same metier as its
ostensible demonized subject.

It's not that I disagree with the distaste for the "no safe level"
approach to health issues. News media are really quite bad for
scaring the shit out of people whenever they can. This is because the
scarier they can make something sound, the better a story it is, and
news is entertainment pretending to be unbiased fact. But the term
"healthscare" is not perspicuous enough to signify this without
explanation. Perhaps it will catch on, and we'll be noting it and it
might make it into the dictionary. But only if people like it and
start to use it. It would help its dissemination if it were used by
the new media. Oddly, though, they seem very resistant to

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list