Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wednesday Wordplay: Because Wednesday starts with "W", and so does Wordplay

Edition 2 of Wednesday Wordplay - here's some words that hit me this week:

I'm fishing for a need for a word like "piscatorial," but nothing's biting. Maybe I could do something piscatorial in piscataway, like throw salmon at Rutgers students. Can you be arrested for piscatorial misconduct in piscataway?

The word "piscataway" is lenni lenape for "great deer river," so Piscataway is both piscatorial and cervine. Got that?

Piscatorial - adj. of or relating to fishing or fish.
Cervine - adj. of or relating to deer.

Here's some other fun words:

adventitious - adj. Added extrinsically; not essentially inherent. (like an unsightly, out-of-place edition added onto an architectual marvel)

Symptomatology - n. the study of relationships between symptoms and diseases.

Effusive - Excessively demonstrative; giving or involving extravagant or excessive emotional expression; gushing

which brings me to something I think is excessively demonstrative in our lexicon - the use of the suffix -gate added onto a word to indicate a scandal. Monicagate, papergate, spygate, gonzo-gate...Keith Olberman is with me on this one, as he ironically and synically points out news from any 3 of the Bush administration's 50 "gates" on a nightly basis. At least I hope he's with me.

The origin of the suffix is of course the biggest scandal in our history, and comparing "spygate" (the absurd use of camera-toting spies by the New England Patriots to spy on the Jets) to that is just silly. And the use doesn't even apply to the original scandal. If you applied the suffix to the origin, you'd call it "watergate-gate." So maybe we should just go back to calling them scandals and giving them original names. I think you'll agree with me, "Teapot Domegate" and "XYZgate" just don't have the same ring as Teapot Dome and The XYZ Affair.

and that's Wednesday Wordplay.

1 comment:

Dubin said...

I love Wednesday Wordplay. If only everyday were Wednesday.Wouldn't that be mercurial fun?