In 1939, Walter Winchell coined celebutante in recognition of young Brenda Frazier's status and fame. More recently, celebu- has detached and become a productive combining form. Part of that productivity can be ascribed to its felicitous phonological properties. Many celebu- coinages, however, appear in blogs. Thus, the productivity of celebu- results from the specific register conditions of blogs. The specific case of celebu- reveals much about these conditions—the need for semantic economy, the saliency of humor, the function of nominalization, as well as the role of critique and sometimes cruelty. Additionally, celebu- coinages illustrate how blogs have emerged as sites of linguistic innovation.
David West Brown; PARIS Hilton, BRENDA Frazier, Blogs, AND THE PROLIFERATION OF CELEBU-. American Speech 1 August 2008; 83 (3): 312–325. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00031283-2008-022
Download citation file: