For the Angelenos

We stand on the eve of the weekend closing of 10 miles of the I-405 freeway in Los Angeles (for construction), an event — often referred to now in the media as (the) Carmageddon — that has thrown Angelenos into dread and confusion.

The portmanteau carmageddon (with the element –mageddon rapidly gaining libfix status) got a mention on this blog back in February, in connection with a Zippy cartoon. And now Barry Popik, on his blog, has given a fuller treatment of it, along with carpocalypse.

But there’s more: karmageddon (karma + armageddon).

First, the beginning of Popik’s piece:

“Carmageddon” (car + armageddon) is the title of a computer game, trademarked since 1997; “Carpocalyse Now”(car + apocalypse) is the title of a computer game, trademarked since 1998. Both “carmageddon” and “carpocalypse” have been used in many others ways, such as describing car crashes or disastrous car sales.

In 1998, a New York City group called “Carmaggedon” fought for bicyclists against cars in a battle for New York City’s streets. In 2007, Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, called New York’s traffic situation “Carmageddon.”

In July 2011, both “carmageddon” and “carpocalypse” were used to describe the traffic problems in Los Angeles, California, by the 10-mile closing of the 405 freeway.

On to karmageddon. An enormous number of hits, many of them musical. For instance, a record label:

Karmageddon Media (previously known as Hammerheart Records) was a Dutch independent record label specializing in death metal, black metal, doom metal and folk metal bands from around the world. The label is incorporated in the Netherlands as Hammerheart Holdings B.V. (link)

and a cd Karmaggedon, mixed by Goan dj Goa Gil, details as follows:

Label: Avatar Records
Country: Israel
Released: Apr 2005
Genre: Electronic
Style: Psy-Trance

I hope that no one is suggesting that Angelenos are getting what they deserve in this weekend’s Carmageddon.


7 Responses to “For the Angelenos”

  1. Ned Deily Says:

    And now “courtmageddon”:

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    And now, from Rick Capparela on the KUSC blog, a reader’s suggestion of an operatic alternative: Autodammerung (Twilight of the Rods). Another reader suggests Carmentia, which would stand by itself even without the Carmen allusion.

  3. arnold zwicky Says:

    Wilson Gray has spotted aparkalypse for this event (and, as it turns out, for presumed-disastrous parking initiatives). And then there’s the computer game Aporkalypse: Pigs of Doom. I am not making this up.

  4. Ben Zimmer Says:

    Aporkalypse was discussed, along with other “sandwich words,” by Mark Peters in his Good column, “Wordgeddon.” (And see my Language Log post, cited therein, for more on “sandwich words” — a term coined by Harold Wentworth and favored by John Algeo.)

  5. More -((m)a)geddon « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Previously on this blog: snowmageddon along with other portmansnow words, here; carmageddon, here; and carmageddon, karmageddon, and courtmageddon, here. […]

  6. -mageddons and -pocalypses « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] in Los Angeles a little while back, yielding the words Carmageddon and Carpocalypse (and more; see here). Then last month the fierce heat waves, and yes, heatmageddon and heatpocalypse (and […]

  7. A topical -mageddon « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] 7/14/11: For the Angelenos (link): carmageddon, carpocalypse, […]

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