A few days ago the radio show Marketplace interviewed me about the word "sequester." Because Marketplace is a serious program, they did not include my suggestions for jazzing up the stories. Alas, I'll just have to share them with you here.

Is "Spendocalypse" Better?

The Atlantic Wire tried to make the sequester more interesting by calling it the "spendocalypse" in a headline. I looked at that and thought they were on to something, but they could have done better.

Portmanteaus Are Catchy

Portmanteaus are a popular way to capture the public's imagination (e.g., carmageddon, Brangelina, staycation).

However, the sequester is about cuts, not spending, so a blend meant to focus the public's attention on cuts should have had the word "cut" in it. Plus, I found "spendocalypse" hard to say. I had to slowly sound it out before I got it. Therefore, I propose the following portmanteaus for journalists who want to add a little flashy marketing to their sequester stories:

Cuttastrophy (my favorite)

Maybe some enterprising linguist can comment on why I feel compelled to double the "t" in all these blends.

As I told Marketplace, I'm not opposed to using cheap marketing techniques if it will help people pay more attention to a serious topic such as the sequester.

Go learn about it: The Sequester: Absolutely everything you could possibly need to know, in one FAQ
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Published on February 26, 2013 09:47 • 2,016 views • Tags: english, marketing, politics, portmanteau, words
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message 1: by Jess (new)

Jess Need the double "t." One "t" would make it sound like the words were related to "cute" rather than "cut."

message 2: by Dee-k (new)

Dee-k Armstrong Like all three choices! Think I'll start using them in my rants.

message 3: by Andre (new)

Andre i have a question a little off topic, if grammar is so important then why isnt it stressed more in high schools? particularly in public inner city high schools?

message 4: by Mark (new)

Mark Regensburger Perhaps you're doubling consonants in subconscious affinity with The New Yorker magazine?


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