Thursday, October 05, 2006

Words, Making up

Librarians are often riveting conversationalists because of their overuse of acronyms and library jargon. Another powerful, yet often overlooked, professional conversation tool is that of the made-up word. The trick is to take a normal word and add a suffix or two to it.

An example: find + able + ity = findability.

Can you find this word in a dictionary? No, it has no findability.

[Note: The editors invite their loyal readers to post their own made-up words in the comments section below.]

26 comments:

Kathryn Greenhill said...

Suckability - the extent to which findability is obscured by one's OPAC.

unstricken said...

I doubt any of us will top sirexkat's contribution, but I attended a recent meeting at which something was described as Web 2.0-ish. The same meeting featured a reference to "folksonomy," since the next incarnation of our OPAC will allow patrons to tag items with their own jargon.

Jenn said...

My favorite metadata geek words:

roundtripability

metametadata

both of which I learned in library school. (We discussed folksonomy too, but unstricken already covered that one.)

Rachel said...

informationist

AnonymousX said...

Laura Bush must have taught that skill to her husband. GWB is the master of that particular skill.

Anonymous said...

I had a library school lecture this week which used the word "webified". Doesn't quite fit the pattern, but close.

alea said...

"teamship" and "groupship" which I hate (but then, I've always detested group work) from a library management course.

also, the joy of "aboutness", which is made up, but which I sort of enjoy.

Anonymous said...

until you are cataloging art history slides
I've had users say they want things that are "about" and they didn't mean the subject.

mylibrary2 said...

placemaking

Oh, to have a place to make. . .

duda said...

I find most words in general and certainly those used during "circability" have "profaneability."

However, I am an expert at making anything profane. I'd give examples, but don't want to offend any delicate sensibilities... etc. etc.

dj said...

Maybe not quite the same, but we use "Tuesdayness" and "Tuesdayish" to describe certain days at our library where the shit hits the fan. This seems to happen the most on Tuesdays.

Kevin Musgrove said...

"workshopability" and "paradigm-enabled"

but I'll fight to the death to defend our use of "thinginess" (usually in the phrase "oh, the sheer thinginess of it all!")

val said...

from September's 'College & Research Libraries News'- reimagineering...

Sarah said...

How about a synergistic paradigm shift?

Anonymous said...

I might have just made this up but I think I've heard it somewhere recently in the thinkworld of libraries and information. "Infopreneur". In context: "Messrs Sal & J of this blog are Infopreneurs for taking their professional understanding into a new and unique business".
And thinkworld? what's that all about? Can't it be stopped?

KimRadcliffSmith said...

Talking about Wikipedia, I remarked about the anonymousity of the entries.

Anonymous said...

My absolute favorite made up "Library 2.0" (which is another winner) word is Biblioblogosphere. Not only does it take a made up word from the technology world "blogosphere" which is from weblog + atmosphere but adds that wonderful librarian kick with the biblio prefix; which happens to refer to "book" in Greek. Although the "biblioblogosphere" rarely refers to books at all.

val said...

from october's 'american libraries'- blogvangelism... this is a fun game!

Anonymous said...

A new bigwig here used the phrase "colocated" during her presentation, as in: "The University, to show the importance of both departments, colocated their offices on the same floor of the new building."

Cringe factor: 8.

I'm bracing myself for more pearls like this one...

CogSci Librarian said...

This, from a database license:

fixity.

Don't know what it means.

And related to "anonymousity" comes "anonymize", which means to make anonymous.

heh heh.

Great thread.

Anonymous said...

Does "colocated" have anything to do with a "colonoscopy"? How about
"Bibliographicolonoscopy"?

Anonymous said...

"Toxicality" - a library locale fouled by a library patron.

"The men's bathroom in my library often becomes a toxicality by day's end."

BeeMcB said...

Linguification - the creation of new words solely for the purpose of demonstrating that we can create new words whenever we damn well feel like it.

Erika said...

Checkoutable -- the characteristic that allows an item to exit the library facility.

Unfortunately, I panicked at one point and used this one today. I repent!

BMASS said...

Able to be shipped out:
mailable

"No, that item's noncirculating, so it isn't mailable."

Anonymous said...

Cluicity- the extent to which a patron has a clue.