The last word on neologisms
The latest lot of madness to land in my email in-box is a press release touting the benefits of “gliking” which apparently is a the nifty new term for glamour biking and hiking.
So, it is not enough that we have glamping and gramping (be careful not to confuse the two), flashpacker and bratpacker (ditto), babymoon and other such irritants popping up in myriad holiday programs and promotions but yet more are constantly being invented. Bleisure, or business and leisure, is doing the rounds but let’s hope it swings out the closest hotel revolving door and is never heard of again. These terms are neologisms, or words not in common currency, bur I fear they won’t stay that way.
Travel is not the only industry to be so inflicted – look at such idiocies as bromance and man flu and don’t get me started on real-estate lingo. But those words vacation and tourism, in particular, do lend themselves so perfectly to prefixes of all stripes. There are mancations for the chaps, all-girl mumcations, and staycations for those holidaying at home (this is very out of favour, I am told, as it is so associated with post-GFC fallout) and spacations. Venture is another handy suffix – witness the rise of education holidays, or edventures.
Who knows when the list will end but let’s hope it’s the same day every second hotel stops calling itself boutique or niche or lifestyle-driven or residential or, increasingly, the lot.
A few do make some sense, however. Voluntourism has gained traction while ecotourism dates back to at least the 1980s. Soft adventure has long referred to activity-based holidays with a safety net of comfort, good food and flushing loo, and let’s hope it stays that way. Last year, the Thai tourism authorities came up with ideas and contests for “honeyteering”, suggesting honeymoon couples could add a bit of volunteering to the romantic mix, which would be the bee’s knees (“we got so much love to give …”) if it weren’t so gimmicky.
I thought I would come up with a few of my own word collisions to add to the general mayhem. Slidling is one, and by that I do not mean edging sideways like a crab but sleeping and idling, which is what I did a tiny bit of last week in The Maldives, when I was not gawkling, which is snorkelling and gawking at impossibly colourful fish. Another term that could well be applied to underwater viewing is “sit-down snorkelling”, which is what you do when you are ensconced (depending on your destination) in an overwater bure or villa or bungalow with a glass panel inset in the floor so you are able to admire the marine life below without the need for rubbery apparatuses or even getting wet. Glamour diving? Would that be gliving? Are we about to be inflicted with glamyaking?
So, will I don fashion-forward Lycra, grab tech-savvy walking poles and turn into a gliker this winter? Ha, unlikely. I am definitely an old-fashioned piker.
Slidling is one, and by that I do not mean edging sideways like a crab but sleeping and idling