Thursday, June 10, 2010

The ’sation

The word halfalogue — meaning “an overheard one-sided cellphone conversation” — is now in the air. I want to suggest an alternative, which I invented while taking a walk with my wife Elaine this morning:

’sation \ 'sā-shən \ noun
: an overheard one-sided cellphone conversation

Sample sentence: That ’sation almost drove me crazy.
’Sation is derived from the (now nearly archaic) word conversation. A ’sation is half a conversation.

’Sations can offer bits of lurid entertainment and truth-telling. But more often, ’sations are merely annoying (just like the apostrophe that introduces the word). If it’s true that ’sations are more difficult than conversations to ignore, I would guess that at least two factors are involved: an alertness to unfamilar patterns of speech and silence and the mind’s disposition to make meaningful what we hear.

(Thanks for the walk, Elaine!)

More made-up words
Humormeter : oveness : power-sit : skeptiphobia

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