Add man-novation to the growing lexicon of man-words. I spotted the coinage on page 32 of the May issue of Wired, in an article about "the dumbest, dude-liest schemes" ever filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office--you know, your pogo-copters, your helmet-mounted pistols, your fulcrum-activated penis exercisers. They could fill a book, and as it turns out, they do. (Manly innovation does not, however, appear to extend to book titles.)
Well, if there's one thing Wired ought to know, it's man-stuff. I counted only only five female names among the magazine's 32 contributing editors and one lone woman--Xeni Jardin--out of 18 correspondents listed on the masthead. I guess most women don't care about the "innovators, instigators, and investors who are changing the world." Heck, no! We just want our mani-pedis!
Hmmm ... mani. Now I remember why I came in this room. I've been tracking man-words ever since the topic came up, about a month ago, on the American Dialect Society's listserv. A correspondent wrote that he was "working on a possible article about the man-word trend" and asked for additions to his list, which included (I'm editing for brevity):
manzillian (yes, a male Brazilian)
Well, that opened the floodgates. Over the next week my inbox bulged with testosteroneologisms like these from Michael Covarrubias:
man date: a planned outing - or perhaps an edict of "man law"
manzierre: we mustn't forget this and the "bro"
man-gina: unfortunately not referring to male chest-pain
manscara: popular with glams, goths and metros
And from other contributors:
man-skank, man-slut, man-whore
man-handles, to mean a man's love handles
And the whole roster of man-smut (man muscle, man gristle, man butter, man chowder, man sugar--hey, hold the man-mayo!).
You can follow the whole thread here.
So the next time you hear someone saying, as pop linguists are wont to do, that men use fewer words than women, you have my permission to produce this list and loudly proclaim "Ha!"
Or to challenge him to a mano a mano.