Writer’s Blog & Phrasemanteau
As I’ve been frequently admitting, I haven’t posted very often lately – I have what’s known as Writer’s Blog (writer’s block + blog). My question is this – is Writer’s Blog a portmanteau? Technically, since Blog is a combination of Web & Log, I could probably get away with it. But my actual question, or point (yes, I do have one), is the Phrasemanteau. I am coining Phrasemanteau to mean a combination of two phrases. However, as I look at some of my recent phrasemanteaux, I’m noticing they seem to consistently be a combination of ONE phrase and one other random word. Let’s look at a few, and try to decide if these are truly phrasemanteaux.
First, my favorite – Cream of the Crap. Wordponents (or phraseponents) are Cream of the Crop, and, well, Crap. Definition – the best of the worst. I love when I get a chance to use this term. But is it a phrasemanteau? It’s combining only phrase, and one word. Well, according to my original definition (combination of two phrases), probably not. I’d like these even more if they contained a portmanteau. Meaning, Cream of the Crap has all normal words, and no combos…so maybe I’d be more lenient definition-wise if it had some portmaneaux.
Agriculture Shock – a shock to agriculture, a combination of agriculture and culture shock. This one I came up with the (potential) phrasemanteau first, then gave it a definition. I think there was some Agriculture Shock down in Florida pretty recently…termed the “Florida Freeze” in the Wall Street Journal article. According to the article, quite a few fruits were impacted, quite a noticable shock to the agriculture. But back to the question at hand, is agriculture shock just a phrase of it’s own?? Considering the definition, it could be considered a shock to the agriculture. I also believe that the existence of “culture shock” as a phrase DOES help the catchiness of “agriculture shock.” Quite the debate…so I’ll just avoid weighing in for now.
Last, but not least, a shout-out to my blogging neighbor. Welcome to a new blog – A Change Of Eatery – a blog about Connecticuisine and events in the Hartford area. Anyway, back to word combusiness. The name of the blog is a combination of “a change of scenery” and “eatery.” If I were to force a regular portmanteau into the name, it would wind up as “a change of sceatery.” Frankly, not nearly as cool & catchy of a name. This is one of those tough realizations for me, when a phrase without a portmanteau sounds better than with. Perhaps I can rationalize preferring A Change of Eatery by declaring it a Phrasemanteau.
Honestly, I don’t know if any of these are actually phrasemanteau, but since I don’t have any better examples, these will suffice. If these are just cool phrases, then great. Phrasemanteau is in the eye of the beholder, and these sound fun to me!