In advertising, out is in, prefixly speaking.
“Out-deliver. Out-delight. Out-disrupt” on the Informatica home page. (Mere disruption no longer suffices; now it has to be out-disruption.) I saw the same message on an Informatica billboard at a San Francisco approach to the Bay Bridge.
Informatica is everywhere.
Out-innovate! Out-perform! Out-impossible! Can we just call them InformOUTica?
Thank you, Mike Pope, for forwarding “No One OutPizzas The Hut.”
It’s not just ads.
Back to Andy Behr for this buzzy editorial copy from House Beautiful. Trying to out-tradition Norman Rockwell? Not for us, thanks.
There’s a special subset of out- constructions that linguists, with their flair for le mot juste scientifique, call “Out-Xing X.”
Way back in 2006, Mark Liberman collected a bunch of out-Xing X examples on Language Log, all with proper nouns: out-Einstein Einstein, out-Disney Disney, out-Star Wars Star Wars. (Thanks to Q. Pheevr for pointing me there.) Ben Zimmer did some research and found the relevant OED entry, which cites Hamlet (“it out-Herods Herod”), Thomas Paine (“to out-bentley Bentley”), and this excellent phrase from the Daily Telegraph (UK) in October 1995: “She managed to out-Thatch one of the greatest Thatcherites of them all.”
The complete OED entry for out- (prefix) is staggeringly diverse. You can combine out- with verbs (to out-fish fish), with common nouns (to out-villain villainy), and with adjectives (to out-modern the moderns). Out- can mean “outlying,” as in the obsolete forms out-bridge and out-chapel; or “excluded” (out-group); and, as we’ve seen in the ads reproduced here, “to surpass or excel” (out-achieve, out-bark, out-flaunt, out-grunt, out-gloom, out-quibble [!], out-whine). Out- can also add the sense of “to get the better of” (outbargain, outcheat). There are some wonderful obsolete outs, including out-firmament (“the outermost celestial sphere”), out-kneed (with knees projecting outward), and out-quaff.
— Ben Yagoda (@byagoda) November 8, 2018
OK, I’m out of material and out of steam. Peace out!