Wednesday, March 12, 2008

To see the world in a grain of ism

I noticed in this Club Troppo comments thread Nabs have a bit of a go at the 'isms' of history:

The lesson we should take away from this is never trust anyone advocating anything that ends in “ism”. However anything ending in “y” seems to be good so far.

He even offers a happy little list of things ending in y. To that end, I'd like to propose a list of my own, dispensing with some 'isms' and proposing new names, (some ending in 'y', others ending in random happy sounds):

Feminism Being feministy (alt: Feministing!)

Socialist Socialistical!

Capitalism Capitalatitude!

Progressivism Progressicality!

Nationalism Nice National-type-feelings

Positivism Positively Positive Positiveness!

Negativism Negativicality!

Libertarianism Libertariads!


TimT said...

Obviously not a comment on the original Club Troppo post, which is to do with some Nazis having a holiday romp a few k's away from one of their death camps. Just picking up on a side issue that Nabs comes up with.

alexis said...

I myself have always been suspicious of words ending in /asm/: protoplasm, orgasm, ectoplasm. Nothing but trouble, the lot of them.

TimT said...

In a flash, spasm, pleonasm, vasospasm, plasm, fantasm, and cytoplasm all disppear in the -asm chasm! Meanwhile, in the -ism abysm tumble feminism, socialism, libertarianism, libertinism, progressivism, ageism, algorism, millenarianism, yahooism and a whole bunch of others too numerous to mention.

To perdition with all ismasms and asmisms!

proserpine said...

I'm fine with a number of -asms and -isms, if consumed in moderation, but the one word which really grates on my ear is "societal", for reasons I have not been able to pin down.

TimT said...

How many suffixes does 'soci' have? We've got 'sociopath', 'sociologist', socialism', 'societal', or just plain old 'social'. Reminds me of my planned story about the socialist who walks into a sociopaths meeting by mistake. Or maybe vice-versa.

proserpine said...

I for one would be very interested in such a story. A friend of mine referred to himself the other day as "the scarlet socialist", which delighted me as I started thinking of all sorts of variations on the scarlet pimpernel.

I suppose my main problem with "societal" is that it sounds like a medical procedure, perhaps of the sort a sociopath might perform for kicks.

Sam said...

As a slight counter to your theory (sorry), 'homosexuality' still doesn't seem to have a happy place these days.

But 'homosexolocity' sounds fun, vibrant and a bit saucy, yeah?

TimT said...

Yes, I can see it now, in the title of that well-known Jonathan Saffran Foer novel,

You Shall Know Our Homosexulocity

TimT said...

... or maybe I'm mixing it up with the Dave Eggers novel? Scrambled Eggers, anyone?

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