About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 30 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

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Making mistakes is inevitable, but repeating the same ones over and over doesn't have to be. You should endeavor to make all-new, spectacular, never-seen-before mistakes.

Jeff Atwood



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 11/17/2017

Totals
Posts - 2460
Comments - 2563
Hits - 1,999,930

Averages
Entries/day - 0.47
Comments/entry - 1.04
Hits/day - 380

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 3:49 AM Pacific


  04:19 PM

Friday words! Here we are in December, which etymology tells us is the tenth month. Ahem.

Today's new-to-me word skirts a politically hot topic, but let's stick here with words. The term is Trumpgrets, a portmanteau of Trump+regret(s). The context, which got a splash of attention this week, was a Tumblr blog that posts tweets from people who seem to report regrets about voting for Trump.

The word Trumpgret follows the idea, if not the pattern, of Regrexit, a term coined for people in the UK who seemed to regret voting for Brexit. Note that Regrexit is a double portmanteau—regret+Brexit; Brexit in turn is a mashup of British+exit [from the EU].

I personally find the word Trumpgrets a little awkward. The pattern is morphologically valid, but perhaps it’s the p followed immediately by the g that makes it ever so slightly difficult to pronounce. Whatever.

Anyway, Brexit and then Regrexit seemed to have kicked off a spate of blending, including Brexhausted, Brexodous, and Bremain, as rounded up on the Language Log. It would not surprise me to find people experimenting with more Trump-based blends, though of course with Trump we don't have the -ex- part to play with.

Update, 3 Dec: Once I started keeping an eye out, I found more examples of Trump-based blends. So far, I've got Trumpcast (Trump+[pod]cast) and Trumplomacy (Trump+diplomacy).

Ok, etymology. In some comment thread I was reading somewhere, someone threw in a note about quicksand. What's quick about quicksand?

Well, it ain't because it's fast. The quick- part is used in the archaic sense of "alive," as in "the quick and the dead" (Biblical; 2 Timothy 4), and quicksilver for the element mercury (which is alive-seeming). So quicksand is really "living sand," in a manner of speaking. Although I suppose if you get mired in it, it's probably not that important to you how exactly the name came about. (As a non-language aside, the movie device of someone getting slurped down into a pool of quicksand—a popular trope in movies when I was a kid—isn't true. More here.)

Like this? Read all the Friday words.

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