Some Words And Phrases That Do Not Exist But Probably Should

logo_post_smallJust like the label says… 

Utgeist n existential despair brought on by having over-indulged in a genre to the point. Often associated with a feeling that the once-beloved genre is now predictable and stripped of all joy while still longing for the experience of encountering it afresh.

Example of use: Jacob loves crime novels but he’s read so many now he sees all the twists coming and has passed into total utgeist.

Esoterogance n Coping with over-familiarity by seeking ever more obscure novelty and regarding this as refined taste. deriv Esoterogant

Example of use: Kathleen’s esoterogance is out of control. If you’re not watching Latvian indie punk films she’s thinks you’re a philistine.

Illiterati n Those who are snobbish about low art.

Example of use: The creator of Gritty Bleak Zine-Comic is one of the great illiterati. You should hear her rant about how literary fiction is just a genre too, and not a very imaginative or powerful one at that.

Streetsploitation n Using street culture in official venues or fancy cafes as a way to cynically appeal to those who wish they were a part of youth or counterculture.

Example of use: The state museum is running an exhibition of street art.

But how is it street art if it is in a museum?

Through convoluted streetsploitation logic, I guess. Anyway, we should go. It looks like a good exhibit.

Prinkipia n Insistence on pronouncing things ‘correctly’ according to obscure rules of Latin or Greek. Figuratively, insistence that anything cultural or invented can have a ‘correct’ and ‘incorrect’ state. Obsession with imaginary minutiae. Sometimes, referring to the imaginary factoids themselves.

You stated that a manticore has seven rows of teeth but all of the sources state very clearly that manticores only have three. How could you get this so wrong?

Through a general lack of attention to prinkipia perhaps?

Homeric familiarity phrase Familiarity with art, books, TV or film only through Simpson’s parodies.

Example of use: All of his knowledge of Hitchcock films comes from strict Homeric familiarity.

Gildcloth n. The three standard forms of fiction book are paperbacks, trade editions (big paperbacks) and hardcovers. Gildcloths have come into fashion as publishers realise that buyers will still purchase real dead-tree books so long as the books are sufficiently ornate to be fetish items. Most but not all Gildcloths are hardcovers and they are all lavishly decorated and printed on better than standard paper.

Example of use: There’s a beautiful gildcloth edition of The Hobbit for sale… I already have like four fancy editions of the Hobbit but maybe I should get one more? It is very pretty.

Biblioslip: Mispronunciation of a word because the person has only ever encountered it in books. deriv. biblioslippage.

Example of use: Pronouncing ennui ‘ee-newee’ or phantom ‘peh-hantom’ or genre ‘gen-eire’ are examples of biblioslips.

About Christopher Johnstone

Christopher Johnstone lives in Melbourne
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  1. I’ve never really suffered from Homeric familiarity but I am often struck down with bouts of Cartmanic familiarity.

  2. These are hilarious! I particularly love ‘Prinkipia’ and ‘Esoterogance’

  3. Christopher Johnstone

    @ Dim: In the post-Simpsons age, perhaps we even need a broader category for other thinkers adding to the same general mix. Neo-Homeric perhaps?

    @ A.B.Smith: Unfortunately I suspect I’ve suffered from all of them at one point or another. See our banner on the front page for a bit of Streetsploitation and I’ve certainly been a victim of needing to buy the latest pretty Gildcloth. The others will come and go as moods do.

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