… after Tebowing the start of a Global Linguistic Trend?
Austin, Texas February 24, 2012– Lin-sanity, the excitement generated by the rapid ascension of the un-drafted, un-heralded, 23 year old Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks basketball team, has been acknowledged as an English language word according to the Global Language Monitor. Lin is the only native-born American of either Chinese or Taiwanese descent playing in the NBA and the fact that he is an acknowledged nerd, a Christian — as well as a recent Harvard grad — only also adds to his intrigue.
It also helps to have a name that lends itself to obviously short-lived, yet clever neologisms such as: Linspiration, Linderella, Linvitation, Linvisible, a Linja warrior. Lin-ough, already!
Since there is no official agency for accepting new words into English language such as the Académie française for French, the Global Language Monitor recognizes new words once they meet the criteria of a 25,000 citations across the breadth of the English-speaking world, with the requisite depth of usage in books, journals and periodicals, on the Internet, blogosphere, social media, and in the top 75,000 global print and electronic media.
Linsanity, without the hyphen, has recently met and surpassed all these criteria.
“Linsanity following the ascension of the word ‘tebowing’ (from the knee-bending, devoutly Christian quarterback and his winning exploits for the Denver Broncos football team) so quickly might herald the beginning of a linguistic fad.
A fad where the names of sports personalities are continually blended with conventional terms into interesting new word forms that convey the achievement, personality, or other characteristic of the competitor,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor. ”
History records a number of such linguistic fads such as words ending with the suffix ‘-ama’ in the 1950s (Cinerama, Lumberama, and Wonderama) or in the prefacing the names of political figures with ol’ or old in mid-19th c. America (such as Old Abe (Lincoln) or Old Kinderhook (for Martin van Buren and the origin of the word ‘OK’).
With the London 2012 Olympics on the horizon, it will be interesting to see if the fad becomes a multi-lingual global phenomenon.
Does anyone remember Phelpsian Pheats?”