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Coining new terms - when do we go too far?

Using 'spim' to refer to instant message spam.

     
11:56 pm on Nov 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I classify myself as a writer, so I know how important it is to make things punchy and interesting. It's important to use words that attract attention, that people can relate to, and that are both creative and descriptive (without being too flip or jargon-y).

So as a writer, I bristle when it seems like someone coins a new term just because they can.

An article [washingtonpost.com] at the Washington Post website is using the word "spim" to refer to spam that is sent via instant messaging.

They don't claim to have coined the term - but in the article, the word "spim" is used interchangably with the phrase "instant messaging spam."

We don't use "spasem" to differentiate search engine spamming ... the word "spam" seems to be descriptive enough. I hope "spim" never catches on.

2:48 am on Nov 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I should have thought a bit, Ian. With my daughter living in Bristol and my inveterate love for the Bard. Ah.

Cheers, S

5:21 am on Nov 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thatís over anticipating. Itís high-flying imagination from the 'newer breed' of writers and they would leave nothing to explore Ė new platforms.

Thumbs up or down?

8:52 am on Nov 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Here in Denmark we are very influenced by both British English and American English via film and TV. We have a lot of words in English that just got incorporated at some point ('weekends', 'TV' etc) and are just used with a Danish pronounciation.

But we also have some words that are 'directly' ie badly translated. My pet peeve is 'role model' which is translated into 'rollemodel'. This doesn't actually make any sense in Danish, it sounds like a supermodel playing a part in a film. And there already was a perfectly good word in Danish that means 'role model' ('forbillede'). I imagine that some idiot at some point couldn't think of the word in Danish and just 'translated' it and it became common use.

Oh, I'm going to become one of those old ladies that write letters to the newspapers complaining about the state of young people's language today...

I do realize that language is ever changing, but like Hawkgirl said, what's the point of making up a new word if one already exists? I think the media is trying to be
'young' and 'fresh' but ends up looking really stupid and wanna-be.

My 2 cents...

2:22 pm on Nov 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This post is actually giving me some ideas...

I think I might be on to something here...

Be right back.

6:33 pm on Nov 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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"Inbox Sludge" is a good term - in my Real Life industry "Sludge" is used to refer to stock that doesn't seem to want to shift and just gets in the way.
7:13 pm on Nov 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Cell phone spam: spell.
3:06 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Well, what's the term when an advance in technology creates a term for something new that then can or must modify to create a term for something old? spam is spam, but isn't junk mail just old spam?

I dunno the answer to all the other questions, but new words are just great... my kid made one up to describe an incident the other day... the word was "snoticles."

3:20 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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> my kid made one up to describe an incident the other day... the word was "snoticles."

Well, obviously, there are going to be times when a new word is most appropriate! :) Your kiddo proved that point beautifully!

3:22 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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spim no.
spam yes.
clever confuses.
words muse us.
spim no.
spam yes.
words confuse us.
clever muse us.
spamno
7:06 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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:-)

Seems nice and interesting. The best is that we add all those terms in the World Wide Web Glossaries.

Also goto Stands4.com and add these terms with the abbreviation so more people know about it. hehehehe

This 40 message thread spans 2 pages: 40
 

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