The FUDGERY of neologisms
Mark Liberman at LL:
Ben Zimmer has promoted Alan Metcalf’s five FUDGE factors for predicting the success of neologisms (Frequency of use, Unobtrusiveness, Diversity of users and situations, Generation of other forms and meanings, and Endurance of the concept), adding his own sixth factor Resistance to public backlash. This gives us FUDGER, and I don’t see any graceful way to add another pronounceable letter (maybe fudgery?), so I’ll give up on the acronymic theme, and just add my suggestion in plain prose.
Multiple sources, interpretations and resonances increase the fitness of a word or phrase. Regionalisms, archaisms, technical terms, substrate influences and euphemistic (or scatalogical) alternatives can all help.
Next entry: Complaining about graffiti in Pompeii
Previous entry: Mutual intelligibility across the Finno-Ugric family?