Admit it: You love it, too.
I learned about this word only yesterday, when linguist Geoffrey Pullum reported on Language Log about a recent conversation he’d had with his son:
I had been talking to Calvin one day about the ghastly crew of obnoxious multi-millionaires who dominate the newspapers, and how they keep threatening to achieve success even in the political arena. Calvin pointed out to me both that we need a new political term for the concept of being ruled by such men, and that there already is such a term. We are living, he observed, in the age of the assholocracy.
He's right, you know. This relatively new word is really useful. Even if we ignore the whole scandal of modern banking, and the rigged election in Russia, and all the scandals in Italy (by the man who The Economist dubbed “the man who screwed a whole country”), and all the disgusting behavior and political clout of of the Murdoch press empire, there is so much else. The contest for the Republican presidential nomination illustrates as well as any other arena.
Assholocracy: “rule by assholes.” A little Anglo-Saxon, the language of bluntness; a little Greek, because that’s where the -cracies come from.
Sure, it could have been a “real” word, kakistocracy, whose dictionary definition is “rule by the least qualified” but whose deeper etymology points to something like “rule by the shitty.” But that would risk going straight over the heads of those who most need to know, i.e., the assholocrats.
There’s just one obstacle to assholocracy taking the prize, writes Mr. Pullum:
Assholocracy needs more Google hits, though; it's a rare word thus far (105 Ghits as of right now, combining the correct spelling assholocracy and the variant spelling assholeocracy). Rare words don’t win. There are several weeks to go before the ADS vote. Those of you with blogs, use the word, visibly and often. Let’s get to work and make sure we at least have the appropriate vocabulary items for dealing with the situation should it arise.
I’ve done my part. How about you?