Earlier this month a client of our PR firm emailed to say that she would need to put off our weekly call that day. Her inadvertently hilarious subject line? “need to postphone.” This unintentional gaffe gave rise to a perfect neologism (newly coined word or expression) similar to those reported on weekly in Lizzie Skurnick’s witty “That Should be a Word” column for the NYT Magazine.
For any of us in the PR agency world who love words and constantly seek new ones, here are some gems from the column that lend themselves particularly well to our industry.
smearch. To Google a person or company in the hopes of finding bad news as in “Remember XYZ Company that never got back to us after we wrote a great proposal? I smearched them and the CEO’s been indicted.”
denigreet. To purposely pretend you haven’t already met someone. “I suppose because the pitch went so badly for their agency, Julia tried to denigreet her when she saw the client at a dinner.”
snoopervise. To secretly monitor your employees. “Suspecting that the entire account team was streaming the World Cup all day, Gordon sent someone to snoopervise.”
persavow. Claim that one will persevere to finish work. “I let everyone go home early Friday since they all persavowed that the new business proposal would be finished on time.”
condrone. To agree too much. “Although the client’s idea for a holiday PR event was clearly wrongheaded, Ashley continued to condrone it until we all just went along.”
phonesia. Forgetting who you called just as they are answering the phone. “These producers so seldom pick up that I had complete phonesia when I called the one at ‘Live with Kelly & Michael.'”
flagony. Guilt over an unanswered email that you flagged for follow-up. “Even though that blogger wanted a fortune for one post, Cindy still found herself in flagony for having never responded.”
exprosé. The message complaining about someone that you accidentally send to that person. “To his horror, Dave discovered his scathing email about his West Coast counterpart’s lackluster media results went right to her instead of her supervisor!”