Two libfixes sharing a spelling

On Nancy Friedman’s Fritinancy blog on April 13, a posting on the libfix -nomics, taking off from the headline “Flawed Tigernomics”, about Tiger Woods’s foundering golf-course business. Friedman remarks that

“-nomics” continues to be the go-to suffix for every trend in search of a pseudo-scientific reason for being.

and goes on to cite a slew of –nomics words (well, -((o)n)omics words) that have sprung from economics over 50-plus years, all having something to do with economics, money, business, or accounting. The publication of Freakonomics in 2005 triggered an avalanche of fresh coinings — Geckonomics, Socialnomics, Spousonomics, Emotionomics, newsonomics, and so on — using the ‘money’ libfix, which is pronounced with /a/ in the penultimate syllable. (Ben Zimmer has a collection of examples here.)

Meanwhile, a separate libfix developed from the model genomics, ‘ the study of organisms in terms of their full DNA sequences, or genomes‘ (from Ben Zimmer’s Word Routes column on the coinage culturomics; Language Log discussion here). There’s even a Wikipedia page on -omics coinages in biology. But culturomics ‘the application of high-throughput data collection and analysis to the study of human culture’ takes the libfix — which is pronounced with /o/ in the penultimate syllable — in a new direction.

2 Responses to “Two libfixes sharing a spelling”

  1. Portmanteau spawns libfix « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] -nomics: The story of -dar is parallel to the way -nomics (originating in economics) broke free, through the mediation of portmanteaus like Reaganomics and (especially) Freakonomics. (Meanwhile, -omics is on its way, from genomics, via portmanteaus like culturomics; discussion of both here.) […]

  2. Inventory of libfix postings « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] 20. POST –nomics and –omics AZBlog, 4/18/11: Two libfixes sharing a spelling (link) […]

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