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July 31, 2008

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I wonder whether Variety's use of -er has any direct connection to the "Oxford -ers" of words like soccer, rugger, preggers, bonkers, etc.

@Q. Pheevr: Interesting! I have no idea, but I do know that truncations similar to "spesh" were pretty common in non-showbiz U.S. slang in the 1920s and 1930s. For example, the vamp to the Gershwins' "'Swonderful" includes "pash" for "passion" and "fash" for "fashion."

Sorry about the plug earlier, I meant to take out the contact stuff.

This posting reminds me of that most famous Variety headline, about how rural moviegoers were tired of their depiction in films such as "Ma and Pa Kettle", and weren't going out to see them any more:

"Hix Nix Stix Pix!"

I suspect that many words were in fact not coined by Variety, but were already being used by theatre technicians and artists.

My experience is that industry journals are quick to pick up on the new jargon of their particular industry in an attempt to ingratiate themselves with their readership and exclude others. Certainly in the film and TV industry, as technology has changed, I've often heard new words and phrases long before I've seen them in print.

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