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Language Journal No.3 Spooktacular use of language!

Spooktacular use of language!

October is the month of Halloween – spooky, scary and cold things are associated with October. From a linguistic point of view, October is the month of numerous blendings  and interesting use of language.  Halloween was approaching and the first blending I heard was ‘Oddtober’. Iowa Public Television used this word for advertising and introducing this month’s theme. ‘Let’s celebrate Oddtober together’ – was the phrase I heard on a daily basis. This word is coined by the use of the word ‘Odd’ and the word ‘October’. In fact, the ‘inventor’ of this word, uses the fact that the word starts with letter ‘O’ and blends the words together. The only difference that we hear is the replacement of the sound ‘k’ with the sound ‘d’. It’s a different word, but the message gets across. This is an interesting phenomenon which attracts the listener’s attention. It implies that this month’s theme will be ‘odd’ which implies that this is the month we celebrate Halloween. Halloween is not mentioned anywhere, but the listener can pick up what the speaker means.

Furthermore, the next blending I heard was ‘Malloween’. ‘Everybody’s invited to the Malloween event at the North Grand Mall.’ This is the phrase that The Mall used to advertise their event on Social Media like Facebook. Appealing blending – I thought. This blending presents a creative way of combining the words ‘Mall’ and ‘Halloween’. Even though in pronunciation these two words are different, the spelling of the first part differs only in the first letter (‘Hall-‘ ‘Mall’). Very innovative use of language! I love this creation of new words! But the fun does not stop here! The next word I noticed was ‘Bootober’. I came across this interesting piece of language on a commercial post on another social media – Instagram. This example combines the words ‘Boot’ and ‘October’. Excellent play with words! The intention of the inventor of this word was to combine the notion of Cold, Rainy weather in October and the need to buy new boots! I find this advert very original and eye-catching.  There are many other examples of this type of ‘playing’ with language. One more example is the word ‘Spooktacular’. My guess is that this blending combines the words ‘spooky’ and ‘spectacular’. I’m not sure where exactly I heard this term. I believe it was on IPTV, where the speaker invited the kids to wear masks and costumes and to go ‘a spooktacular night’. Another creative use of language! Again, the word ‘spooky’ reminds the listener to Halloween and even though this is a completely new invented word, we all seem to pick up its meaning! Pretty cool, right?

Now that October is over, I started hearing similar blendings connected to Christmas. One example can be the word ‘Santabration’. I am sure there will be a lot more and I will try to keep track and analyze the language use. I’m very excited and looking forward to hearing what kind of blendings American people will use in the spirit of the upcoming season. Personally, I find this phenomena a remarkable and artistic use of language to keep the listeners’/readers’ attention! It is mainly used for commercial purposes and advertisements and I believe that the purpose of the inventors of these words is to keep the listeners interested and curious about the product/event they are advertising. Linguastic use of language!

Key Words: Bootober, Oddtober, Malloween,  spooktaculous,  Santabration, Linguastic (linguistic + fantastic)

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