Monday, 5 March 2018

sniglets or the meaning of lyff

As the lexical progeny to Douglas Adams’ concept of a lyff—being a common object or experience, oddly often tied to a specific region or town, for which no term yet exists, sniglets, popularised by Rich Hall’s tenure as chief anchor on the 1980s spoof newscast Not Necessarily the News—as Tedium invites us to recall—were similarly described as any word that does not appear in the dictionary but should.
A few examples, in the lane of shared experiences, include: premblememblemation—the act of checking that a letter deposited in a mailbox has truly been done so in the correct fashion, icelanche—the sudden onslaught of ice from a beverage as one attempts to finish the drink, and aquadextrous—the ability to control the bathtub faucet and dials with one’s toes. Do you remember these? Like a lot of material from 1984, it does not seem to have aged very well and perhaps on the surface quite non-malleable, but I suspect there is some merit to playful neologisms and folk etymologies. I wonder, if the show’s writers had got to influence current nomenclature, what they would have called the selfie and doggo lingo.