December 3, 2012

Sailer's Law of Neologisms

I kind of like the phrase "The Endimenment" to describe contemporary times, especially because it's one of those phrases, like "dumb and dumber," that's hard to pronounce without sounding like an idiot: The Endimememenment ...

So, will this neologism sweep the Anglosphere?

Of course not. The basic rule is that clever, self-explanatory new terms virtually never catch on. For years, the Atlantic Monthly had a back page contest asking readers to invent new words to meet unfilled needs in the language. They published hundreds of brilliant neologisms, not one of which I ever noticed anywhere else again.

Instead, what mostly catches on are  phrases like "jump the shark" (2,150,000 page hits on Google) that just make us dumberer.

65 comments:

The Anti-Gnostic said...

WTF Steve-o? It's not even a word.

The Eminemnent: clunky, not clever, and obscure. Dark Enlightenment is a good play on the Enlightenment, which can be blamed for a lot of the current mess.

I like AltRight's "the Kali Yuga" but that's describing something different.

Harmonious Jim said...

Omnishambles is a pretty good neologism.

Anonymous said...

How about the Unenlightenment.

Mark Plus said...

About 20 years ago I coined the noun/adjective "singularitarian" and the verb "to cryocrastinate."

In recent years these words have come into use, at least in the geek subculture, especially "singularitarian" thanks to Ray Kurzweil.

Whiskey said...

OT, Steve, Jonathon Last pretty much cribs from your posts (and a number of my old ones) in the Weekly Standard link here.

His take, the MARRIAGE GAP is bigger than the Gender GAP (your insight); White women make up 2/3rds of all single Women (mine) and single voters increased SIX points vs. Hispanic 1 point from 2008. Obama had fewer single voters than 2008, but still took them handily.

Obama was plus 16 for single Men and plus 36 for Single Women.

Most White women are like well, Lena Dunham or Sandra Fluke. And they gave Obama a close-enough vote to allow massive fraud and cheating.

Last concludes that the GOP should encourage women to marry. Yeah, right. Like Sandra Fluke wants some beta male loser when she can have five minutes of an Alpha's time. Just that she met and spoke with Uber Alpha (positionally at least) Obama means most guys just don't do it for her.

Marriage is just done, over. A single kid at 35 ala Obama's "Life of Julia" is our future, with Big Men at the top of a PC/Multiculti anti-White guy alliance is the political victory formation. Leaving of course the Beta White males out in the cold. Brimelow is right. This will all end in tears. But a great deal of it is based on gender differences between younger Whites.

ivvenalis said...

Maybe the problem is that English is so dominant that the average American doesn't come into contact with any languages from which to acquire loanwords. We've already probably taken Western European languages/Latin for all they're worth, so it's hard to see what could come of Spanish. For all the prattle about diversity nowadays, the average Anglophone "man of letters" probably hasn't mastered any other languages. Why bother?

If this is true, you'd expect actual neologisms to come mostly from places where English is common but not totally dominant. I'm sure linguists are all over this, somewhere. Some common modern English words are Hindi (thug, pundit, guru). Or, maybe there's even a lack of other dominant cultures that we _aren't_ in close contact with, (nomenklatura, intelligentsia, gulag).

There's a larger and larger presence of Eastern Europeans in computing, including the video game mass market, which has introduced me to a couple of clearly non-"Western" concepts I'd never encountered before (vodyanoi). Maybe that will be a mechanism for some new words? Look at the Japanese. How many people fifty years ago knew what "samurai" or "ninja" meant?

Anonymous said...

Endummyment

Anonymous said...

I kind of like the word "truthiness"

bluegrass said...

The diveresacalypse?

The great absorpticide? (like, low fertility white people getting absorbed by the multitudes of their fertile colored invaders.)

Okay, I'm just a dumb college student so I can't do much more than mix 2 words together to sound clever.

Dark Enlightenment kinda sounds like a high-end strip club to me for some reason though.

Anonymous said...

The real Sandra Fluke is...engaged to a balding Jewish aspiring stand-up comic. If that's Whiskey's idea of an alpha, well, it says more about Whiskey than it does about her.

Dahlia said...

http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2012/12/milking-social-security-disability.html

Great political post by Agnostic that everyone should check out.

Glaivester said...

I created heterohomophilia (it describes interest in hearing about member of the opposite sex engaging in homosexual activity, e.g. girl-on-girl porn and slash fiction ).

Hobart said...

Besides, why would the elites in charge want to create hundreds of new words to expand the vocabulary of the citizenry and enhance clarity of thought. They're all for cutting down the dictionary, making words verboten, and suppressing thought.

Baloo said...

Endarkenment would be clearer and easier. I recently coined "Procrustocracy," which I think is pretty self-evident in meaning. Credit ©baloocartoons.com if you use it:)

Mr. Anon said...

"Mark Plus said...

About 20 years ago I coined the noun/adjective "singularitarian" and the verb "to cryocrastinate."

Cryocrastinate? To put something off by going into deep freeze? I like it.

Mr. Anon said...

The only neologisms I can claim are "neo-reactionary" and "celesbian" (i.e. a celebrity lesbian).

Mr. Anon said...

"Baloo said...

Endarkenment would be clearer and easier. I recently coined "Procrustocracy," which I think is pretty self-evident in meaning."

Procrustocracy. That's good. It suits Janet Napolitano quite well.

Anonymous said...

Cincinnati Bowtie?

CJ said...

The blogger Billy Beck, whose site two-four.net seems to be no longer, used to call modern times the Endarkenment. I thought he was a little over the top at first, but now it seems like a simple statement of reality.

CJ said...

Oops, Beck's still around.

Hunsdon said...

I'm serving this one up to Whiskey, on a plate. Fat and slow down the middle. Whiskey, come on, bro, I know you can take this one right out of the park.

Endhimmiment.

Hunsdon said...

ivvenalis:

Khaki.

Derek Brown said...

I thought Charles Lindenbeard or was it Beardinbergh was pretty funny from that poster awhile back. Not a neologism but still clever.

Luke Lea said...

How about Delightenment?

wren said...

Luke is on the same wavelength as I.

Forward!

Anonymous said...

Whiskey, please get a grip.

Most white girls are NOT NOT NOT like Lena Dunham/Sandra Fluke.

Those two are promoted by a certain people (cough) as positive examples or aspirational figures, and this is dangerous. But let's stay within reality here. TV does not reflect real life.

wren said...

Well, I see that someone already discovered delightenment, registered the domain and is selling t-shirts that say "I became enlightened and all I got was this lousy t-shirt."

Proof that we are already there.

wren said...

I'm struggling for a redarkagesassance.

Reagesombressance doesn't work.

I've noticed that more and more folks are discussing idiocracy.

The term itself may be making the jump to conventional wisdom.

paleopaleo said...

Luke's "Delightenment" is the winner thus far. I'm using it!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a union contract for Endemann donuts

Anonymous said...

Delightenment is not bad. Containing 'delight' it captures the idea that (in the short term) being more stupid may be more pleasurable ('if it feels good, do it'.)

Endarkenment is also good. How about 'Endimnent' ?

But Dark Enlightenment is a different concept. Endarkenment is how we're ignoring the obvious and the Gods of the Copybook Headings. Dark Enlightenment is when we don't ignore them (and evo/HBD).

agnostic said...

Portmanteau and other mashup words are not catchy because they are not memorable. Their storage and retrieval from memory is too effortful to be useful in speech, and even written neologisms rely on oral devices to spread.

It's hard to store a portmanteau as a single entry in your mental dictionary because it is so deliberately asking you to interpret it *not* as a single word or phrase, but as a combination of two fragments stemming from separate words or phrases that you have to fuse together and interpret piece-by-piece.

What's catchy are things that make the storage and retrieval easier, like repetition of elements -- rhyme, alliteration, reduplication, and so on. Space case, barf breath, lovey-dovey.

Or allusive figures of speech -- concrete jungle, carpet-muncher, Bolivian marching powder. Those leave just enough to the imagination to give you a pleasant buzz when you quickly figure them out.

Portmanteau words do just the opposite -- they take longer to decode, and there is no mystery or puzzle to solve, just a ham-fisted cobbling together of two word fragments.

agnostic said...

"Race realism" is a much more catchy phrase because of the alliteration, though it doesn't cover people who look at class, sex, etc.

"Dark Enlightenment" has a nice opposition between dark and light, but its meaning is not transparent. I had to google around for 5-10 minutes to see whether it referred to the movement he was championing, or the movement he's against (donning the mantle of the Enlightenment while actually plunging us into deeper ignorance).

"Data from the Dark Side," perhaps? It's got alliteration going for it. There'd be no confusion over who is being referred to, since "data" only has good connotations, so clearly applying to your own team. "Dark Side" hints at much of this data being hidden in obscurity, now being uncovered by your team. And the ironic reference to yourselves as the Dark Side, pointing out how maligned your views are by the mainstream, and that you don't mind being thought of as evil by the other team.

It does sound a bit too quantitative, though, when several of the people described aren't number-crunchers. I couldn't find a good synonym for "science" or "philosophy" or "learning" that began with "d" to preserve the alliteration.

agnostic said...

Got it -- The Lurid and Learned.

eah said...

So, will this neologism sweep the Anglosphere?

It appears to be some kind of a weird cross between enema and condiment, so I rather think not.

Mr Sailer, it's also a bit egotistical to name something after yourself.

Anonymous said...

"Entonoia", the psychopathological opposite of paranoia (look it up I've put it out there).

James_G said...

"Jump the shark" is a great phrase, which I use regularly. It refers to an episode of Happy Days:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4ZGKI8vpcg

How could the show ever be so good after this?

"Jump the shark" also suggests that a show (or writer, musician etc.) has made a dangerous leap over the boundary separating greatness from mediocrity, or pathos from bathos.

In addition, the phrase is minimally counterintuitive, hence easy to remember:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_science_of_religion#Minimally_Counterintuitive_Concepts

Sharks are found in water so the notion of "jumping" a shark is strange, but not altogether incomprehensible. A less counterintuitive expression might be "dive under the shark"; a more counterintuitive one is "romance the jalopy".

Anonymous said...

Anon's law of neologisms:

For a new word to catch on, the following are necessary, albeit not sufficient:
- There should be a lack of CURRENT words, describing the concept

- The word itself and its way of relating to the concept it describes should be easy to remember
* should not be hard to pronounce
* helps GREATLY if it has a story

- The word should denote a concept that is frequently used in conversation
* by some in-group e.g. HBD realists if it is to be adopted as argot
* by "cool people" if it is to be adopted by the Anglosphere, everybody, etc.
* by youth (corollary to cool people) future of a language is the subset of people that is the future of the people that uses that language.


comparison of "jumping the shark" and "endimmenment" is left as an exercise for the reader.

Auntie Analogue said...


"Dark Enlightenment" just sounds so...Goth. Too 'Rocky Horror Show,' methinks. Too 'Dark Shadows' Transylvanian.

"Endimenment" sounds like a cheap store-brand laxative. Or like a Vermont Country Store Catalogue ointment for skin tags, bunions, and corns. ("Endimenment" also gives an unmistakable whiff of the Christian Right fundie fixation on The End Times.)

"Endarkment" is gonna - and you all know this, for sure, or you should, by now, know it very well - is gonna get you bitchslapped for Racism.

Baloo, I like your "procrustocracy" - it nails the form of rule that has emerged, it nails the rule that's been strengthening its grip on what remains of Western Civilization. It's also splendid because it has no ideological specificity, while at the same time it captures a utilitarian form of rule having no use for ideology or morality and having use only for whatever it is that will compel obedient, even eager, conformity. It's a perfect word in all but one respect: it's cumbersome, unwieldy on the tongue.

Another nominee, "Delightenment," redoles of Huxley (whom we forgive for not foreseeing his 'Brave New World's' Idiocracy potential and for having instead predicted colorless universal apathy).


Your indulgence is asked for the following consequences of excessive rumination upon neologisms which seem to me to reek of these awfully portentous times (as I anticipate, my dear Sailermates, an abundance of your groans and guffaws, you will be relieved to know that I shan't relinquish my day job):

- Ethnobliteration / Ethnoclipse / Ethnowhelm(ed)

- Spendocide

- Indebticide

- Raspaillicide

- Exsovereignate (Exsovereignation)

- Patriacide

- Anomieicide (Mr. Lawrence Auster would, I expect, find this one apt; and I expect that Mr. John Derbyshire should savor its Greek etymology.)

- Hubriscide

- Dhimmicide

- Apatheticide

- Jihadicide

- Drone-icide / Predatoricide

- Lefticide

- Governmentiasis

- Leviathantiasis

- Republicide

- White Guilticide

- Mediacracy

- Liberticide

- Bureaucracide

- Democracide

- Doomigration


Finally, with respect to lightening things up a bit (and with a view to getting offline sometime before daybreak with my sanity clinging frantically on by its splintered fingernails), a Churchillian epigram:

A strip club is dictatorship of the poletariat.

Ba-Dum-Bump!

PA said...

a few Alt-right neologisms that have a chance of spreading beyond this sphere:

- SWPL
- hamster
- cheap chalupas
- butthex

PKD said...

James, we all know what 'Jump the Shark' means. Steve is implying that it dumbs down the masses by defining life through pop culture media.

Anonymous said...

I suggest neikophilia, the love of disintegration.

Simon in London said...

I'd say the original Delightenment actually occurred after WW2, when huge swathes of historical and anthropological knowledge were abandoned in a reaction against Nazism.

The Dark Enlightenment is what happens when Science Marches On and it becomes painfully obvious that the Human Equalitarianism of the post-WW2 Delightenment is not true.

The Endimment would be the culturally controlled averting of eyes from the truths of the Dark Enlightenment?

JSM said...



"How about Delightenment?"

Nah, cuz none of this is delightful.

I like Dark Enlightenment because HBD has enlightened us about the nature of the darker races, and that reality is NOT all happiness and light.
Plus, it suggests the Dark Side of the Force, like the evol-cons (evil-cons, they call us) we are.

heartiste said...

Steve, Dark Enlightenment is good. As a man who's made a few snappy neologisms myself, I give it my glorious seal of approval.

May I also suggest use of my term "equalism" to describe blank slatists and their panoply of close cousins? It's more fun to spit out at your enemies than equalitarianism or egalitarianism, and it captures that spunky, ominous essence of similar -isms like communism and fascism which drip with evil portent of psychopaths reeducating malleable mankind for its own good.

People who scoff at this kind of stuff don't realize the power of branding. The leftoids are masters of branding, probably because they are a creative lot, despite their other obvious deficiencies. A strong, tight, digestible brand will bring people in, who will then stay for the message.

Bostonian said...

"Endimenment" makes me think of dimes, not dim. Try endumbenment.

James_G said...

James, we all know what 'Jump the Shark' means. Steve is implying that it dumbs down the masses by defining life through pop culture media.

You know what it means—exactly! Surely, that is the proof of a brilliant neologism?

Imagine saying "Endimenment" in public. Yuck. "Idiocracy" and Fabian Tassano's "mediocracy" are far superior. "Dumbing down" also works.

Lev Navrozov described the complacent citizens of Western democracies as "adult babies", which seems more appropriate now than ever.

How have, indeed, the democracies been reacting to the re-emergence in 1917 and re-affirmation in 1928 of a militarily daily growing, globally expanding, all-infiltrating serf caste war society which the recorded social history of Europe had never yet seen and which was bound to bring forth similar societies either by way of self-defense or through imitation or both, and finally perhaps submerge the entire world back into the night of ruthless gang war—only now global, scientific and technological?

Naturally, there are more sophisticated students of mankind in the West than in Russia today: creative freedom, even as it existed in pre-1861 Russia for the nobility, is a stimulating ambience. Besides, the vast-scale education in the United States (for the first time in the history of free societies) is a powerful quantitative and hence qualitative factor in the development of intellect—not in the sense that every Nobel Prize winner is more intelligent outside his field than a randomly sampled crane operator or a cleaning woman (so far it has proved to be just the other way around), but in the sense that vast-scale education brings forth more intellect and talent than in, say, pre-1861 Russia where education was confined mostly to the nobility.

But at the same time a sheltered, free, wealthy island that a twentieth-century democracy is (an island as transient perhaps as Periclean Athens amidst the millennia of gang war) creates—as any other sheltered, free, wealthy milieu does—adult babies, innocent, trusting, devoid of underworld defense mechanisms. [...]

A democracy tends to convert into a secluded, parochial, cozy island of frolicking innocence, wrapped, to the exclusion of all outside realities, in harrowing dramas like last year's liaison of a cabinet minister with a call girl, or last week's two-percent rise of gasoline prices.

Anonymous said...

I think that Heartiste and his ilk are the path to the Dark Enlightenment. People sense that something isn't right about sexual relations, that all the blank slatism is wrong and that there are fundamental differences between the sexes. Plus he promises to teach you how to get laid. That leads you to thinking about biology and Darwiniasm and evo psych and all the places that leads you.

Cail Corishev said...

Considering how much Steve writes about pop culture and draws inferences from it, I'd find it very odd that he thinks such things endummify the conversation.

"Jump the shark" was a great term when it was used by people who knew what it meant. It had a very specific and useful meaning. If you grew up watching Happy Days, it was the perfect example of, "We're out of ideas; what the heck, let's try this."

The problem was that it caught on too well, and people started using the term in any context at all to mean, "I don't like this anymore."

Rohan Swee said...

I think you could get more of the nuances you're aiming for in "Dark Enlightenment", in French - try "profond", or maybe "sombre". "Éclaircissement profond". "Éclaircissement sombre".

But then people will just say you talk like a fag.

agnostic said...

"Jump the shark" isn't that bad either. It sounds punchy, and it suggests something absurd. Most people using it have no clue where it came from, but lots of great idioms have opaque origins for the typical English speaker --

Come to a head, kick the bucket, against the grain (most wouldn't know what "grain" meant), surf and turf, behind the eight ball, close but no cigar, face the music...

People don't reconstruct where the idiom came from. They just hear it in context, and by putting themselves in the speaker's frame of mind, draw out its meaning. It's not explained to them analytically, as it would have to be to an autistic person. So if its origins are low-brow, the learner will be none the wiser.

The jig is up, lame duck, put up your dukes, raining cats and dogs, the whole nine yards...

If it works in context, just go with the flow.

dearieme said...

Here's one from me: the future will be SLUMPFLATION. Good, eh?

j mct said...

Sandra "Princesses do not pay for their recreational sex equipment, and I am a princess" Fluke is marrying a balding Jewish comic? Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Youngman!

let.it.burn said...

Endarkenment embiggens the soul.

ironrailsironweights said...

"Jump the shark" was a great term when it was used by people who knew what it meant. It had a very specific and useful meaning. If you grew up watching Happy Days, it was the perfect example of, "We're out of ideas; what the heck, let's try this."
The problem was that it caught on too well, and people started using the term in any context at all to mean, "I don't like this anymore."


Saying that (for example) a TV series "jumped the shark last week" is another misuse of the term. Happy Days remained a very popular show for several seasons after Fonzie's encounter with the shark. It was only much later that one could tell that the shark episode represented a turning point, after which the show began a steady - but slow - decline. Jumping the shark in general is not something easily seen right when it happens.

Peter

ironrailsironweights said...

By the way, the Happy Days writers claimed that they wrote the scene of Fonzie jumping over the shark not because they were running out of ideas, but because Henry Winkler was a very good water skier and wanted to show off his skills.

Peter

Anonymous said...

How about the horror the horror?

Anonymous said...

I always thought Fonzie was one part James Dean, another part tone-deaf Elvis, and a third part Evel Knievel.

Anonymous said...

"I'd say the original Delightenment actually occurred after WW2, when huge swathes of historical and anthropological knowledge were abandoned in a reaction against Nazism."

Methinks you're right.

Anonymous said...

The best alt-right neologism is "realtalk".

Anonymous said...

Steve, Dark Enlightenment is good. As a man who's made a few snappy neologisms myself, I give it my glorious seal of approval....

People who scoff at this kind of stuff don't realize the power of branding.


Dark Enlightenment is not good branding. It is negative and, in addition, will not appeal to women.

Try "Americans" or "ethnic Americans."

Luke Lea said...

I vote for balou's Endarkenment. That captures the flavor perfectly.

Glaivester said...

James_G:

"Adult babies" has a different meaning now, methinks...

Technically, "Jump the shark" means the point at which a show (or by extension anything else) started going downhill. Its meaning was not more specific than that back in fall of 2000, when I first heard the term. It doesn't necessarily mean running out of ideas; just that it has reached its peak and will go down from here on.

Cail Corishev said...

It always referred to a particular moment or change to the show, though. You wouldn't just say a show jumped the shark in the middle of the fourth season because you thought that's when it peaked. You'd say it jumped the shark when they did the live musical episode, or when they brought in Ted McGinley as a new character. It's true that it can only be judged in hindsight, because the show has to go downhill from there on.

See here (but be prepared to kill a couple days surfing): http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/JumpingTheShark

Anonymous said...

Sailer's got quite the ego. Way too much crap in the third person.