Criticism. Essay. Fiction. Science. Weather.
n. From the "music charts", a list of one hundred pop songs arranged in proportion to how many deejays were bribed or threatened to play the songs on the air (see extortion); and "buster", indicating that something was broken, injured, crippled, or (if Ghostbusters has taught us anything) imprisoned in a magnetic field.
Unlike the old term, "chart-topper", which implies position, "chartbuster" implies momentum, as well. The term "chartbuster
" is used for a pop song that, due to its popularity, has reached number one; however, the rate of its climb is such that, it threatens to SURPASS number one and go on to zero. When a song reaches number zero, it automatically becomes part of the collective unconscious, and babies actually hum its melody as they leave the womb; the comatose mumble its lyrics; the dead will walk the earth and buy the album
n. From "emotion" and "icon", shoved together to define, appropriately, the alarmingly multiplying group of icons used to digitally convey emotion. Born out of the need to define the queasy face and motorcycle-riding face as well as the more traditional smiley face.
There is an elegance to this frankensteined word, a gracefulness with which icon's "C" drops simply into emotion and gives us a neatly bundled term with which to define icons that convey emotion. "Emoticon
", too, seems to have the heft of industry and big business, which these icons have become. The simple ASCII smiley faces cobbled out of punctuation have been replaced by pre-fab, 3D, animated simulacra of emotions. That deserves a linguistic coup. One worthy of a marketing firm. One like "emoticon".
However, there is something of failure about the word. The things it defines are part of an online vernacular but the word itself, however neatly constructed, is clumsy to use. Emoticon does not slide as easily into conversation as the one-less-syllabled "smiley face". That well placed "C" thrashes the final syllable into two clunky lumps. Emoticon the Word will never be as popular as Emoticon the Thing. Both are somewhat clinical; the smiley face coldly dictating the unreadable emotions
of faceless and voiceless interaction, and the word an irresistible but awkward compilation.
In that sense, "emoticon" captures perfectly what it describes.
v. An alteration of the marketing sense of the verb "to brand" acheived by affixing the prefix 're-', suggesting a makeover.
The word "rebranding", then, implies reinvention by an existing brand name. It gained currency when many established companies and brands decided, after a century of practicing traditional branding, to change their projected image to suit a rapidly changing business environment. These changes were environmental (BP, the oil company, suddenly positioning itself as an environmentally-friendly
, 'green' brand), health consciousness (Subway dubbing itself the healthy alternative to other fast-food chains), or simply a change of focus forced by new technology.
Conveniently, this new word has even rebranded the marketing vernacular. Brand
, which has lost some of its cachet since its 1950s heyday, has itself been updated to sound new and fresh and less like something associated with big corporations from the '50s. Stay tuned for the development of a companion noun, e.g. "the most trusted rebrands".
n. More than a regular ton. Emphatically "ton".
1. Earlier this week, I was sitting at my computer at work, when I shared with my co-worker, "I wish I were one of those nasty rich New Yorkers who has a crap ton of money and was beautiful all the time."
My co-worker: "Crap ton
"Yes, I wish that I had so much money that I could crap it out of my ass whenever I wanted to and it was this huge, gross, shitty mess of moolah and I didn't even know what to do, but crap out more money and have fun, enjoy my life."
2. Some time ago, I received an email invitation to see a friend's band play at Trash Bar in Brooklyn. It was a Monday night and there was a small cover charge, but an open bar from 9pm to 10pm. My friend's band went on at 10. His email read, "So come at 9, pay six bucks, drink a crap ton of booze, hang out with me, and watch us play at 10pm."