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in the tradition of Dan Savage, let's coin a new word! - 1370°C

Nov. 6th, 2004

02:52 pm - in the tradition of Dan Savage, let's coin a new word!

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what's the antonym of luddite?

when i posed this question to a few friends yesterday, the natural reaction of all was to think for a few seconds and say "technophile." however, with this, i completely disagree. if there were a sort of linguistic line from one extreme to the other, it would look something like this:

luddite--technophobe--ambivalent--technophile--[word we are trying to create]

if a luddite is someone who opposes the use of technology, even when, as is sometimes the case, it is foolish for them to do so, then the strict opposite of a luddite should be one who embraces technology even if it is foolish for them to do so.

so, i submit to you a bit of a contest, that of course you are free to share with your lj and non lj friends. we need to come up with the word that is luddite's proper antonym. there are two criteria:

--thing the first: the word should, etymologically make sense and, if possible, match the etymology of luddite.

in Leicestershire in 1779, the story goes, the dimwitted Ned Lud broke into the house of a stockinger and "in a fit of insane rage" (OED), destroyed two frames used to make stockings. people in the stocking business began to invoke his name saying, "Lud must have been here," every time a frame sustained comparable damage. between 1811 and 1816, the nickname King Lud was given to the leader of a band of men who destroyed such equipment (as well as other technologically convenient manufacturing machines) purposefully, because those machines were making their professions obsolete. in 1970, the word Luddite began to be used to mean anyone who opposes the use of new technology.

now, clearly we're not going to find the name of someone who leaves Rube Goldberg (Heath Robinson for those on this side of the pond) devices in people's houses. however, it might be possible to come up with the name of a person who died using or testing a clearly foolish bit of new technology. at any rate, the word in question probably ought to be derived from the name of a historically or fictionally significant person (though it doesn't have to be a well-known person) or group of people, but other derivations with a good argument will be considered.

--thing the second: your word should get across the notion that this anti-luddite would do blatantly stupid things in their use/implementation/adoption/etc of new technology (be the very first person to have a data jack implanted in their brain, for example).

please do explain your etymology when submitting your entry, entries suggesting "Steenites" (or other names of friends who you know you will one day describe by use of this new term) will not be considered, deadline for submission of your word Sunday 14 November.

once we have a few entries for the contest, we'll vote on them as a group and then try to use this word as much as possible to get it released out into the wild.

for those of you who don't get the title of this post, famed sex advice columnist Dan Savage recently did the opposite of this particular exercise, suggesting that the word "santorum" needed a definition appropriate to the activities and belief systems of Rick Santorum. still don't know what i'm on about? see spreading santorum. his readers also coined the term "pegging" for...well, see for yourself

Current Mood: wordy
Current Music: clan of xymox: a day


[User Picture]
Date:November 6th, 2004 03:57 pm (UTC)
I would like to submit "Dieboldite." It does not describe a person willing to embrace technology that is dangerous merely to the individual, but a person who unthinkingly fawns over technology that is dangerous to a nation.
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[User Picture]
Date:November 6th, 2004 09:21 pm (UTC)
I humbly suggest "Popeilite". If the Flowbee(TM) and the Inside The Shell Egg Scrambler(TM) aren't the quintesential examples of technology-where-it-isn't-needed, I don't know what is.

"Popeilian", although not as direct an etymological opposite, is a lot more comfortable to say.
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[User Picture]
Date:November 7th, 2004 12:02 pm (UTC)
My first thought was antiluddite ... but I could immediately visualize your disgusted scowl at what would be a serious lack of creativity. So instead, I'll propose these possibilities ...

antiquiphobe: One who fears antiquity.

neotechaholic: One who is addicted to new technology.

gatesycophant: One who won't hesitate to continually shell out big bucks to upgrade their software so as to always possess the latest version.

qua: Just make up a definition for that mysterious word in your cell phone. Now that's solving two "problems" at once! ;-P
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[User Picture]
Date:November 7th, 2004 01:31 pm (UTC)
except, of course, that qua is a word already in more than one language ;)
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