The news for libfixes

In the news this morning, an NPR Morning Edition piece by Louisa Lim, “Beijing’s ‘Airpocalypse’ Spurs Pollution Controls, Public Pressure”. Again, the disastrous libfix –pocalypse, just a few weeks after the libfixes -(po)calypse and -(ma)geddon (“hyperbolic combining forms for various catastrophes”) together won in the Most Useful category in the American Dialect Society’s 2012 Word of the Year competition, where hashtag was the overall WOTY winner and the portmanteau phablet (phone + tablet, “mid-sized electronic device between a smart phone and a tablet”) garnered the Least Likely to Succeed award.

The dreadful story from Beijing began:

In China’s capital, they’re calling it the “airpocalypse,” with air pollution that’s literally off the charts. The air has been classified as hazardous to human health for a fifth consecutive day, at its worst hitting pollution levels 25 times that considered safe in the U.S. The entire city is blanketed in a thick grey fug that smells of coal and stings the eyes, leading to official warnings to stay inside.

The two disastrous libfixes have gotten lots of notice on the net; see my posting here with some of the history and this posting from May 2012 with an inventory of links to postings on the two combining forms.

Entertainingly, airpocalypse has been invented for a very different purpose, as the name of a band (of sorts): Airpocalypse, aka Airpöcalypse. From their website:

Through distant skies and an unknown land they came… Nothing remained sacred, no one was safe as The Lords of the Air thundered forth, sometimes 3, sometimes 4…

The Horsemen of the

3 years ago, several air performers met at a regional air guitar competition. Inspired by each other’s talent and dedication, they decided to band together to form America’s premier Air Band! They have been honing their skills at performing and mixing exciting tracks of music to give the audience what they need. Airpocalypse performs for all sorts of events and competitions, from concerts to weddings to music festivals. In order to appeal to a wider audience, Airpocalypse has been training new members to cover a variety of instruments and styles. This undertaking is styled to create a large Air Music Collective. But as for the core of air guitarists, Airpocalypse will be introduced to America through our popularity in the US Air Guitar Championship circuit.

Videos are available. (Note the N + N compound air guitar, which has been around for some time but is far from semantically transparent.)

(Further news from the WOTY competitions: the phrase legitimate rape — some discussion on this blog here — managed to win twice, as Most Unnecessary and also Most Outrageous.)


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