More dubious portmanteaus

For the Fourth of July (Independence Day) weekend, an advertising campaign on the TLA Adult Gay Video site:

Celebrate Foreskindependence

(intended: foreskin + independence).

Meanwhile, for some time now the 76 gasoline firm (formerly Union 76) has been running a tv ad campaign against honkaholism (honk + alcoholism, or possibly honk + the libfix –aholism), an addiction to honking.

The first turns out not to convey the intended meaning — an Independence Day sale — very well; foreskins are not centrally involved in the matter, and in any case the term could be parsed as foreskin + dependence.

The second is clever and cute, but becomes annoying on repetition.

Foreskindependence. A preference for uncut men (men with intact foreskins) is a well-known taste of many gay men, and numerous videos cater specifically to this taste (while others cater to a taste for cut men), so even if you parse foreskindependence in the intended fashion, you’ll expect that the sale has something specifically to do with foreskins. But in fact, here are the main terms of the sale:

Freedom to Save Super Sale!
Get up to 25% off your entire order!
We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men (and women too) have a divine right to save huge, up to 25% off their order! Express your independence by buying anything and everything you want. Spend $49.99 and you’ll automatically get an extra 15% off your entire order. Spend $99.99 and you’ll automatically get an extra 20% off your order. Most fabulously of all, spend $149.99 or more and you’ll automatically get an extra 25% off your entire order! The more you buy, the more you save! This is why we fought the British, people. Do your patriotic duty and start shopping now!

Foreskins don’t come into it at all. It’s all about freedom, rights, and patriotism.

Honkaholism. From the NYT on 4/1/13, “Gasoline Brand Urges Drivers to Stop ‘Honkaholism’ ” by Stuart Elliott:

Efforts by a leading gasoline brand [76] to woo consumers in a nontraditional fashion are continuing with a light-hearted initiative aimed at discouraging a particularly annoying kind of vehicular noise pollution.

… The initiative urges drivers to stop “honkaholism” — the incessant beeping of car horns that bothers passengers, pedestrians and other drivers. It is styled like a public service campaign aimed at eradicating a societal ill, seeking to make people aware of the problem and then offering a solution.

For instance, the commercial — which can be watched on the special Web site,, as well as on television — starts with an angry man behind the wheel of a car at a crosswalk, is honking loudly as bewildered children stare.

“Is your honking out of control?” a calm-voiced announcer asks. “You might be showing signs of honkaholism.”

“Now you can put an end to all the beeping honking,” the announcer continues, “with the 76 Honk Suppressor.” The reference is to the giveaway item, a toy shaped like a hockey puck that bears a resemblance to the Easy button from the Staples retail chain.

At the center of the Honk Suppressor, which can be attached to a dashboard, is a piece of red rubber or plastic bearing the 76 brand logo; when pressed down upon, it makes a bleating sound like a child’s doll or a dog’s squeaky toy.

The Honk Suppressor is “the perfectly safe honking alternative,” the announcer declares, “designed to wean even the most beeping honkers off their beeping.”

(Note the taboo-avoiding bleeping.)

I found this entertaining the first few times it came around. But eventually it became as annoying as, well, honking.

And I wonder whether the commercial has been effective — something that’s notoriously hard to gauge.

2 Responses to “More dubious portmanteaus”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Dean Allemang on Facebook:

    I can’t help but wonder what sort of vessel one uses to store and dispense honkahol. No doubt it is a horn.

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    It now occurs to me to suggest that honkaholism is an affliction of clowns.

Leave a Reply