New compound words

This week I was asked to look over some copy that included the word ‘webinar’ and it almost caused a physical twitch. I’m guessing the writer used it as a shorter way of saying web-based seminar.

But it started me thinking about my attitude to compound words in general. You see I didn’t like ‘blog’ or ‘podcast’ the first time I heard them either.

‘Blog’ sounds like what it is – a made up word, a contraction of web log and it just felt clumsy in my mouth. I objected to podcast initially because I felt it was inaccurate. You didn’t have to own an iPod to listen to one.

Needless to say I’ve overcome my first reactions and have adopted and use both terms. But it’s going to take some serious persuasion to get me to use ‘webinar’.

Nancy Friedman picks a word of the week on her Away with words blog. Last week it was upycling which I like and this week it's crowdsourcing – which I'm a bit undecided about. As a matter of personal preference, I recognise it's a purely subjective judgement. They're fun to collect though!

One Response to New compound words

  1. Thanks for the link, Scribbler! “Upcycling” has actually been around for about a decade, which may be why it falls more euphoniously on the ear. As far as I can tell, “crowdsourcing” was coined a couple of months ago; it does take time for neologisms to settle in. It’s rather like seeing an example of cutting-edge fashion on the street–leggings under dresses, frayed hems, skinny jeans. It’s surprising how quickly one evolves from “What was she THINKING?” to “Cute style!”