A little libfixfest

Alex Pappademas, in the Riff feature ” ‘A sense of wonder and a sense of humor’ ” (on-line: “Morgan Freeman Goes From God to Science”) in the NYT Magazine of August 28, on the Science Channel documentary series “Through the Wormhole With Morgan Freeman”:

The show’s focus on actual mathematicians, physicists and neuroscientists helps distinguish it from the various strains of paranormal crackpot-tainment with which it shares the cable landscape — all those bro-friendly ghost-hunters running around with night-vision cameras, all those fleece-clad Bigfoot-ologists tracking Sasquatch in the woods.

Packed into this short passage, three portmanteau elements that have become libfixes (see “Portmanteau spawns libfix”, here): the -tainment of crackpot-tainment (see “The evolution of Zippytainment”, here), the bro– of bro-friendly,(see “Manecdotes and brobituaries”, here), and the long-standing combining form -ology/-ologist in Bigfoot-ologists.

First bonus: the synthetic compound fleece-clad in this passage, followed within the paragraph by two more, book-cluttered and edge-pushing. (For some sort of record in synthetic-compound pileups, note the entertaining subtitle of Geoff Nunberg’s 2006 book Talking Right:

How conservatives turned liberalism into a tax-raising, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, New York Times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show.)

Second bonus: this analogy later in the piece:

[the Large Hadron Collider is] a cool-looking, important yet ultimately esoteric project that produces hard-to-understand results — the Radiohead to the space shuttle’s Springsteen.

(There are people, like me, who like both Radiohead and Springsteen.)


One Response to “A little libfixfest”

  1. wantology « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] mentioned the libfix in passing on this blog, in connection with […]

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