Brief morphological notes

Three recent items: robophobic, fungineering, fracktacular. Three sightinga, among many for each of these.

robophobic. From Maureen Dowd in the NYT, “Mommy, the Drone’s Here”, 12/4/13:

Law enforcement agencies are eager to get drones patrolling the beat. And The Wrap reported that in the upcoming Sony remake of “RoboCop,” Samuel L. Jackson’s character, a spokesman for a multinational conglomerate that has to manufacture a special RoboCop with a conscience for America (still traumatized by “The Terminator,” no doubt) scolds Americans for being “robophobic.”

Of course, for the robophopic [robotropic would be the usual opposite], there is already a way to get goods almost immediately: Go to the store.

robophobe, robophobia, robophobic all involve the combining form –phobe.

fungineering. From Oliver Burkeman in the NYT, “Who Goes to Work to Have Fun?”, 12/12/13:

Enjoyable jobs are surely preferable to boring or unpleasant ones; moreover, studies suggest that happy employees are more productive ones. But it doesn’t follow that the path to this desirable state of affairs is through deliberate efforts, on the part of managers, to try to generate fun. Indeed, there’s evidence that this approach — which has been labeled, suitably appallingly, “fungineering” — might have precisely the opposite effect, making people miserable and thus reaffirming one of the oldest observations about happiness: When you try too hard to obtain it, you’re almost guaranteed to fail.

This one is a relatively straightforward portmanteau (fun + engineering).

fractacular. A head from the Economist of 12/23/13, p. 12, about the U.S. passion for fracking: fractackularfrack plus the libfix -tacular (originally from spectacular), which has come up in these precincts on several occasions.



One Response to “Brief morphological notes”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    Huh. My first thought on seeing “fungineering” — before I read the paragraph — was that it had something to do with fungi (“the mushroom theory of management”) or “fungible”.

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