Saturday, June 17, 2006

Tomorrow’s bon mot

The Blog Summit on the UVa. campus was well worth my time and a friend’s gasoline. A tip of the SLANTblog cap goes out to Waldo Jaquith for the various roles he played in making it happen. It sure seemed like a success to me.

After the lively Saturday morning panel discussions, as the attendees had their way with their tasty lunches, one thing became abundantly clear to me -- most political bloggers are nowhere near as dangerous in person as they seem zooming around in the blogosphere.
Room full of experts, ready for lunch
As I'm trying to keep up with the new lingo and symbols, with smiley faces made out of punctuation marks, and endless acronyms and idioms -- which ain't so easy for some old goats -- I have to ask: Did anybody else hear "psycho-phant" come tumbling out of the sound system?

When I got home I looked it up in my Webster’s. No help.

No doubt, it's too new for that. Could be the paint hasn’t even dried on tomorrow’s bon mot? Still, I Googled it. Same thing, no help. So, I don't know what it means, but the sound of it grabs me.

Oh yeah, she's a real “psycho-phant”

Or, forgive those “psycho-phants,” they know not what they do.

Good name for one of those British haircut bands. Yowser, yowser, yowser ... those badboy Psycho-phants will make you shake your bidniss ‘til ya sweatin' forty-weight oil!

No, I don't know what it means, but it works for me, anyway. Because we need new funny words. A lot of the old words are so boring they’re nearly useless.

And, hey, why should I be surprised to find new words at a cutting edge confab packed with bloggers, journalists and politicians? Maybe the ice tea was spiked, I had several glasses.

Well, I had a good time in C-Ville, whether I really did hear a speaker say, "psycho-phant," when he meant to say, "sycophant," or not. Now I wish I'd had another glass of that tea. In a day or so, I'll post more on this event.
Photo: SLANT


Lisa said...

Yep, I heard that one too. :) It was great meeting you in person and listening to you speak on the panel. Hope to see you again at next year's conference--or the one in August, if we both attend.

F.T. Rea said...


I was amazed that no one laughed.

Since the faux pas came as part of an obvious dilettante’s attempt to show his new savvy, by quoting from a recent post he liked on a sympathetic blog, it was so perfect that he undermined himself thoroughly, without having a clue at the moment.

My guess is someone has let him know by now. Although we've all butchered the pronunciation a word, and gotten busted for it, most of us probably haven't done it quite so spectacularly.

SEMI said...

I think we've got a new word...

syc·o·phant: a servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people.

psy·cho·phant: a person of influence who attempts to win favor by flattering uninfluential people.

F.T. Rea said...


Very nice...