Thursday, 12 July 2007

Bansturbation

I've often thought that the only pleasure some people get is banning things others enjoy - now someone's coined a word for it:
What do you call it when people want to ban everything?

Language changes, new words are invented all the time. Whether a freshly minted coinage makes it into the lexicon depends upon both luck and whether we actually need it: does it describe something for which we previously did not have a word? If it does then there is a good chance that it will make its appearance in dictionaries, the thesauruses and even columns in serious newspapers.

One candidate is the verb “to bansturbate” (origin, Harry Haddock, who blogs at nationofshopkeepers.wordpress.com). The word – a fusion of “ban” and the term for self-abuse – refers to both the public abuse of the rights of the citizenry as things that some people simply disapprove of are made illegal, and the near-sexual frisson of pleasure gained by those who pass such laws.

Much of the urge to ban is driven, just like Puritanism, by the fear that some people, somewhere, may be enjoying themselves; the rest by the terror of politicians and bureaucrats who fear that if they don’t do something, anything, we might begin to wonder why we pay them.

1 comment:

  1. All this is of course enforced by "the bansturbulary".

    ReplyDelete

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