This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Sunday Rest: fanboi or fanboy. Word Not To Use Today.

This word seems to have started off  about 1920. In those days it was spelled with a y and a fanboy was probably obsessed with a particular film actor or fictional character. Nowadays a fanboy or fanboi will be obsessed with a some form of popular culture or technology.

The i appeared in the 1960s, by which time most fanbois had a fixation with a comic-book character or artist. 

And then what happened? Why, Apple, dear Apple, came along with all its iStuff, and the word (complete with oh-so-trendy i) came to be associated with devotees of Apple technology.

This word is short, easy to pronounce, and even easier to understand: so why do I dislike it?

It's the boy, of course. These poor mutts may be dedicating insane amounts of thought, time and energy to something transient and unworthy, but, hey, that's no reason why we should treat them with open contempt.

I mean, I really think we could at least manage to make it a secret contempt, don't you?

Word Not To Use Today: fanboi. The plural of this word, fanbois, is particularly nasty. Fan is short for fanatic, which comes from the Latin fānāticus, belonging to a temple, and so inspired by God, frenzied, from fānum, temple.

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