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Thread: Hybrid Words

  1. #1
    anupumh's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Hybrid Words

    Hi,

    Is it acceptable and common to use these hybrid words?

    Fatabulous (Fantastic+Fabolous)

    Prettyful (Pretty+Beautiful)

    Chillax (Chill+Relax)

    Awesomtacular (Awesome+Spectacular)

    Are they accepted in formal written texts?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Hybrid Words

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    Hi,

    Is it acceptable and common to use these hybrid words?

    Fatabulous (Fantastic+Fabolous)

    Prettyful (Pretty+Beautiful)

    Chillax (Chill+Relax)

    Awesomtacular (Awesome+Spectacular)

    Are they accepted in formal written texts?

    Thanks
    No, they are not common.
    No, they are never seen even in informal writing.

    The only time they might show up in writing is between quotation marks, to quote exactly a speaker with a highly idiosyncratic way of speaking.

    "In-totally-credible" is the one heard most often, I think. I think there was a character on the TV comedy show Saturday Night Live who used that phrase, and maybe "fantabulous."

    I have never heard the ones you cite, except for "fantabulous."

    This is a kind of slang that became overused so rapidly that it lost its charm -- which was only ever "moderate" in the first place. I think it was always too self-conscious and labored to sound like real slang.

    Sometimes an expletive is inserted inside another word. For example, the locution "In-f***ing-credible!" might still be heard under the right (limited) circumstances.

    There was a failed journalistic effort by Time Magazine (in the 1930's I think) to condense words in this manner. This highly-stylized writing style was the subject of much ridicule and parody. I tried to find some examples on line, but I couldn't. "Boatycoon" to describe a shipping magnate (boat tycoon) might be an example.
    Last edited by Ann1977; 17-Sep-2009 at 03:08.

  3. #3
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Hybrid Words

    What a craptastic list! Actually they're not so rare, but are considered humorous without consisting in real words. Americans don't mind neologisms (e.g. edutainment) but these are just word-play.

  4. #4
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Hybrid Words

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    What a craptastic list! Actually they're not so rare, but are considered humorous without consisting in real words. Americans don't mind neologisms (e.g. edutainment) but these are just word-play.
    Right -- "Infotainment" for example.

    Still, they are deprecated by speakers of prestige English.

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    orangutan is offline Member
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    Default Re: Hybrid Words

    Well, "fantabulous" occurs in Van Morrison, so hands off... ;). Nonetheless I wouldn't encourage students to use it.

    The others are completely new to me and don't seem acceptable at all.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Hybrid Words

    I've only heard 'fantabulous' too. They tend to be short-lived and few catch on. Some in your list (prettyful/chillax) strike me as rather artificial as they mix near-synonyms, while infotainment does serve a purpose. They also sound dreadful to me, while fantabulous does trip off the tongue and uses a word that has long been played with by infixes- fan-f******g-tastic (and other swear words) can be added to Ann's example. Adding no shade of meaning and not sounding good- the future for 'chillax' is bleak IMO.

  7. #7
    anupumh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hybrid Words

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I've only heard 'fantabulous' too. They tend to be short-lived and few catch on. Some in your list (prettyful/chillax) strike me as rather artificial as they mix near-synonyms, while infotainment does serve a purpose. They also sound dreadful to me, while fantabulous does trip off the tongue and uses a word that has long been played with by infixes- fan-f******g-tastic (and other swear words) can be added to Ann's example. Adding no shade of meaning and not sounding good- the future for 'chillax' is bleak IMO.
    I picked up these words for Dictionary and Thesaurus - Merriam-Webster Online (merriam webster online site)

  8. #8
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Hybrid Words

    Quote Originally Posted by orangutan View Post
    Well, "fantabulous" occurs in Van Morrison, so hands off... ;).
    Yeah, right -- ONCE -- in 1970!!!!



    Nevertheless, that's a good point.

    Songs and poetry have long cultural lives, and we know them word-for-word, so expressions within songs and poems can be preserved for a long time past their expiration dates.

    For example, the absolutely sole and only reason anyone knows the word "nimble" today is because of its use in a nursery rhyme.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hybrid Words

    Quote Originally Posted by orangutan View Post
    Well, "fantabulous" occurs in Van Morrison, so hands off... ;). Nonetheless I wouldn't encourage students to use it.
    It's one of my favorite words. I use it.

  10. #10
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Hybrid Words

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    It's one of my favorite words. I use it.
    Well (sulking), it's all right for YOU to use it.

    People who ARE fantabulous can use it. It says so right there on page 7 of the Book of Rules.

    It's the rest of us who have our noses pressed to the glass.

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