Neurologisms revisited

During Brain Awareness Week 2006 (BAW) I held a neuroword contest.

From 50 entries, witty and descriptive and serious and catchy, some all at once, the winner is:
Neurologism: a word created by prefixing "neuro" to almost any normal word.

The contest was for new definitions as well as words from scratch, and it was an excellent definition. Enough to crown it a winner. Now, however, Jake Dunagan has come forward to point out he coined it in 2004, in the article Neurofutures: The Brain, Politics, and Power (page 8, at the bottom, PDF, please read as discussion is upcoming). All I can say is oops, and sorry. I was remiss in not searching more; neurologism also has other definitions but I hadn't found this one.

Neurologism as defined and credited to Neil H. remains the winning neuroword. Described by Mind Hacks as "beautifully recursive", it's been adopted by many. (Google "neurologism" now and Mind Hacks entries are ranked first, and I'm third.) Jake Dunagan now shares credit.

Today, a bigger better happier ending. Another winner! A co-winning neuroword, this one made it through searches in Google, Technorati, MedLine, OneLook, Yahoo, PsychInfo, and Wikipedia. Following that, a panel of five judges each chose it in their top three. Positive indication it's a thoroughly original and witty word, including an original spelling (neurologism was not). The co-winner is:
Neurogibberish- Seemingly impressive jargon used by some neuroscientists to hide lack of real findings.

Congratulations E.! You win puzzles, as did Neil H., but more importantly, fame and – well, fame. Great word. Thank you to the judges: The Neurocritic of the eponymous blog, Chris of Mixing Memory, Amanda of Isotripy, Caio Maximino of Sturm and Drang, and J. Stephen Higgins of Omni Brain. Superior writers with good taste all.

Honourable mention from the judges, and a little puzzle, goes to Alex for neurrelevant. He entered it along with three others (including the hilarious neuriposte):
Neurrelevant: Best practise when dealing with a neuriposte or neuro-tic, e.g. 'that's neurrelevant and you're lowering our intelligence just by bringing it up'.

I also have follow-up from a few entries.
Neurofilk: A popular or folk song with lyrics revised or completely new neurolyrics and/or neuromusic, intended for humorous effect when read, and/or to be sung late at night at SfN or other neuroscience conventions.

Entered by Alex, coined in 1996 in a funny archived Usenet post of neurofilk lyrics by Dennis McClain-Furmanski.
Neurorotica or Neurotica: Discussing the activities of the human brain in a way that is intended to cause sexual arousal. (Credit: Eric.)

In a search for neurotica there are over 700,000 hits. There's a band, a cartoon, lots of other usages. Alternately, in a search for the spelling neuroerotica there are still examples, including a neurosong by Poetic Warrior Press titled Neuroerotica (free mp3).

The Neurocritic came up with a definition of his own:
alternate definition: erotica used in a neuroimaging study to produce pictures like this one (from a study by Redoute et al., 2000).


A logical definition. But what about the discussing the brain to intentionally cause sexual arousal? Nobody else online spells it neurorotica, and apparently nobody has defined it the same way. (Though it may be among the 700,000.) So, I was inspired to create some neurorotica. A short story. For now, if you'd like to read it, email.

Yay for all the neurologisms! Thanks again to everyone who participated.



Blogger Jake Dunagan said...

Thanks Sandra. No need to apologize for missing it, it was buried in the obscure (but emerging and ever-interesting) Journal of Futures Studies.

The contest was great fun.

Aloha, Jake.

27/6/06 16:30  

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