Recent East Coast storms push words over qualifying criteria
Austin, Texas, February 10, 2010 – Snowmageddon and Snowpocalypse have been accepted into English language lexicon, after an unusual string of recent East Coast blizzards pushed the words over the qualifying criteria, according to Austin-based Global Language Monitor.
“Though there is no official agency for accepting new words (or neologisms) into the English Lexicon, the Global Language Monitor since 2003 has been recognizing new words once they meet the criteria of a minimum number of citations across the breadth of the English-speaking world, with the requisite depth of usage on the Internet and in the global print and electronic media,” said Paul J Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM. “Snowmageddon and Snowpocalypse both crossed those threshholds earlier today with a reference to the string of East Coast blizzards, and are currently being widely used in the global media in dozen of languages today.”
The word ‘Snowpocalypse’ is a combination of ‘portmanteau’ word linking ‘snow’ with ‘apocalypse’. Apocalypse, itself, can be traced to the ancient Greek word apokalyptein meaning to ‘uncover, restore, reveal or disclose’ (hence the name of the final book of the New Testament). ‘Snowpocalypse’ has hundreds of thousands of citation over the last few years, first exemplified use by Playstation gamers in early 2006. The words apocalypse and apocalyptic are both frequent expressions of the global media especially when used in reference to any cataclysmic event such as the South Asian Tsunami or the inundation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina back in 2005, as GLM then noted.
‘Snowmageddon’ is another portmanteau word that ultimately can be traced to the same source. The Greek word Harmagedōn and its Hebrew counterpart har məgiddô both refer to the ancient settlement of Megiddo, which stood astride important Middle Eastern trade routes and was subsequently the scene of many important historical battles. The word ‘Armageddon’ has come to be associated in the popular mind with any end-of-the-world scenario, such as portrayed in the movie of the same name, starring Bruce Willis. ‘Snowmageddon’ has hundreds of thousands of usages over the last few years, exemplified by its publication in The Oregonian in December 2006 (and recent remarks by President Obama earlier this month).