Thursday, July 16, 2009

On neologisms

While coining a neologism, especially in science, but also generally, here is a checklist that one could adhere to:

1. It should sound less jargon-like than the jargons it is composed of: "Jargon added is jargon halved" effect.

2. It should be fresh, but not just frivolous and as far as possible, intuituve.

3. Once defined, it should have a greater sense of immediacy, and home-in on the concept faster than the definition itself. In that sense it should be focused. However, it should be more than focused in the following way. The definition should remain fresh, such that on re-reading the definition, and definitions of terms used in the definition (recursively), it should evoke a richer, diverse cloud of related ideas and thus contextually situate the neologism.

4. It should have a quality of being used by the 'in-crowd', in a manner that the anxious 'out-crowd' wants to understand what it means and start using it in sentences.

1 comment:

Amzok said...

this is fun; we demand examples, positive and negative !