This story today announces that the word “podcast” has made it into the New Oxford American Dictionary 2006. Originally coined as a combo of ‘ipod’ and ‘broadcast’ the word has spread into popular culture and beyond. My extended family now knows what a podcast is. My children know. Their friends know. The widespread popularity has legitimized the word and the practice and it’s no longer some geeky 1337 thing.
Here is an example of how quicky we’ve created new language. The word apparently came up for inclusion last year but was rejected as too obscure. One year later it’s all over the place. Why can’t we do that with “Ms.” or “equal pay”?
Either they’re still taboo because the politics turn people’s mouths bad and they won’t say them (shame on you!) or there’s no merchandise to drive people’s consumption motive. Our culture is based on consumerism – buy – own – get – have – neeeeeeed – and there’s something about saying “podcast” or “ipod” or “mp3 player” that shows you’re on the in. That you belong. That you know what’s cool, trendy, hot, funky, curly, hip, happenin’, (insert adjective here) etc.
Does feminism need a gimmick?