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Blends

This week's words
advertorial
cultivar
exurb
spokesmodel
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

A portmanteau is a blend -- a word formed by combining two (or more) words. Lewis Carroll gave this name to such a word in "Through the Looking-Glass". As Humpty Dumpty explained to Alice, "You see it's like a portmanteau -- there are two meanings packed up into one word." A portmanteau is a travel bag that opens into two hinged compartments.

Carroll himself coined some fine portmanteaux such as chortle (chuckle + snort), and slithy (slimy + lithe). We have been using this fusion technique to coin names for countries: Tanzania (Tanganyika + Zanzibar), celebrities: Brangelina (Brad Pitt + Angelina Jolie), products: camcorder (camera + recorder), and beyond.

This week we'll see five words, each of which is an amalgam of two other words.

advertorial

PRONUNCIATION:
(ad-vuhr-TOR-ee-uhl)

MEANING:
noun: A newspaper or magazine ad resembling editorial content in style and layout.

ETYMOLOGY:
Blend of advertisement + editorial. The radio/television equivalent of an advertorial is another blend word, infomercial: information + commercial.

USAGE:
"PETA accused the Ministry of Defence of having one of its advertorials 'pulled' from Defence Director, the trade bible of the defence industry with strong links to the MoD. The advertorial -- which barracked against use of bearskin in the hats worn by the Queen's Guards -- was mysteriously removed at the 11th hour, leading to PETA's claims that they'd been leaned on by a higher power, a charge the MoD denies."
Henry Deedes; Has Mandelson Annoyed the Neighbours?; The Independent (London, UK); Oct 14, 2008.

See more usage examples of advertorial in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I wasn't disturbing the peace, I was disturbing the war. -Ammon Hennacy, activist (1893-1970)

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