by John Q on May 15, 2007

This survey says I’m an Internet Omnivore, but reading the descriptions I’m more of a Lackluster Veteran. I don’t like mobiles/cellphones much, because they’re fiddly and unintuitive, and I only rarely send text messages – I keep forgetting where the space bar is. However, once the iPhone comes out, I expect to be properly omnivorous. (H/T Edumacation* – Also an Omnivore)

* While I’m at it, can anyone point me to the origin of constructions like Edumacation, Journamalism and so on. Wikipedia isn’t much help, and Uncyclopedia’s entry, while edumacational, gives no etymamology.

{ 2 trackbacks }

I’m a Connector at Jacob Christensen
05.15.07 at 9:23 pm
Omnimavore « Random knowledge
05.15.07 at 10:29 pm



TJ 05.15.07 at 8:51 pm

The Simpsons


Adam Kotsko 05.15.07 at 9:01 pm

Since we’re discussing etymologies, does anyone know the origin of the use of the phrase “phoning it in” to describe a half-hearted effort?


Jared 05.15.07 at 9:11 pm

From The Simpsons–Homer refers to Lisa’s Saxomophone.


LizardBreath 05.15.07 at 9:19 pm

1: I don’t know, but I’d surmise live radio — a phoned in appearance would be less trouble and effort, but lower sound quality.


M. Townes 05.15.07 at 9:43 pm

Dr. John has a song, “Qualified”, that appeared on his album, “In the Right Place” as early as 1973; it includes the line: “Your edumacation ain’t no better than wha’cha unnerstand”.

My guess would be that this a pretty common and old construction, and that tracing it to a specific etymology would be difficult.


agm 05.15.07 at 9:54 pm

Phoning it in, I believe, has to do with Sinatra’s later years. I don’t know if he actually did “phone it in”, but he developed a reputation that was regularly parodied that way.


Amanda 05.15.07 at 10:00 pm

I know edumacation from The Simpsons but according to this is goes back to at least to 1925

1925 _Bee_ (Danville, Va.) 19 Nov. 7/6 (heading) What is, and by who comes
the right idea of edumacation in Danville, Virginia?


Amanda 05.15.07 at 10:04 pm

And this from the above link, the -ma infix. There’s even a disseration on it. (although alas the link is not working for me)


Amanda French 05.15.07 at 10:22 pm

I don’t know where “edumacation” and the like originated, but I know what doing that is called — “tmesis”. That’s a Greek term of rhetoric, so obviously it’s not a new idea. The inserted syllable is neither a “suffix” nor a “prefix,” but an “infix”.


Barry 05.15.07 at 11:21 pm

Jourmamalism is heavily used by Brad DeLong, so I’ll credit him. Am I qualified to be a journalist, now? Or do I have to cover for some people who are actually in power?


Slayton I. Musgo 05.16.07 at 12:51 am

“Tmesis” is my word of the year. It’s in-fucking-credible!


KCinDC 05.16.07 at 1:21 am

Aren’t almost all bloggers and most blog commenters going to come out Omnivores? Anyway, I did.

But that question about texting should really have a scale rather than just yes or no.


Danbye 05.16.07 at 6:37 am

“Phoning it in” is regularly used in theatre to indicate a performance in which the actor may as well not have bothered turning up. The performer’s “presence” being such a factor in good theatre, accusations of wilful absence are pretty damning. But as to where it comes from…


Tim Worstall 05.16.07 at 11:10 am

“But as to where it comes from…”

Post 1876 would be a good starting point?


nnyhav 05.16.07 at 11:46 am

In college I learned to talk op-talk …


John Holbo 05.16.07 at 1:26 pm

There’s a bunch of spam in the queue right now that reads, in part ‘If your need more informarmation check …’

Also, the saxomophone episode (from season 9) is available cheaply from Amazon at the moment (it’s on sale today only. Oddly, I notice these things.)


novakant 05.16.07 at 3:31 pm

The iPhone is gonna rock –
your life will never be the same again!


novakant 05.16.07 at 3:32 pm

oops, here’s the link:


dave heasman 05.16.07 at 7:35 pm

“constructions like Edumacation..”
I now see it wasn’t the first, but I heard Walter Gabriel use this term on The Archers in the 60s.


Jonboy 05.16.07 at 10:10 pm

Urban Dictionary has the following definition of “Edumaction” pronounced ed u ma kay shon. They suggest a post African American Slavery origin. used as a comment on ones lack of or low quality of education, also relates to educating yourself.

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