Suffixes are superb inventions. They can take a boring, humdrum word and turn it into something wonderful. Using the right suffix will help you create unforgettable portmanteaus that hook the reader and don’t let go.
But if you use the wrong suffix, you can come across a a pretentious, preening pillock with no grasp of the English language and a penchant for pointless buzz-words.
In short, steer clear of these five. Or you’ll look like a moron.
Five Suffixes That’ll Make you Look Like a Moron
From: The Watergate Scandal
Common Uses: Captaingate, Giggsgate, Anytabloidstorygate
Here’s a fun fact for you all, controversy fans. The Watergate Scandal took place at The Watergate Hotel. Not The Water Hotel. And -gate isn’t an old English suffix meaning controversy. No, this is a lazy piece of shorthand which reached its nadir after two footballers were involved in a fight in a Leeds nightclub.
Yes, if you’re about to embrace -gate, then the only saving grace is that you’ll never stoop quite so low as Bowyer & Woodgategate. And that’s nothing to be proud of.
From: The Italian suffix denoting fascist
Common Uses: Fashionista, Twittista
Darling, what sort of pillockista appends -ista to perfectly good words? Unless you’re a scriptwriter for Absolutely Fabulous (you’re not), then you should leave this one well alone. Not least because it’s going to make you sound like the sort of person who spent all of the 1990s hunched over a toilet cistern with a rolled-up note.
And the same goes for -rati too. Twitterati is not a good word in any language. Capicé?
Common Uses: Peacenik, Refusenik, Ipodnik
Oy vey, the Cold War phoned, and it looks like they want to have their slang terminology back already. Let’s face it, unless you’re the mad USAAF general in Doctor Strangelove or a Jackie Mason tribute act, dropping a -nik at the end of a word is going to make you look outdated, clueless, and possibly like a bad racial stereotype.
And if you’re the person who coined the phrase Ipodnik, then know this. I will find you. And you will regret it.
From: The word ‘entrepreneur’
Common Uses: Blogpreneur, Mompreneur, Solopreneur
For some reason, people who view Blogger as a decent business tool tend to have a chip on their shoulder and a feeling of insecurity. So what do they do? Exactly. They make up a new job title by adding the suffix -preneur to part of their old job title. Blogger? You’re now a Blogpreneur! Sole trader? Solopreneur!
From: The correct usage of English
Common Uses: “If yourself is happy with the draft, please return it to myself immediately”
This is a pet peeve of mine. For some reason, people have decided that myself and yourself are the formal words to use in place of me and you. Which leads to ridiculously stilted statements like “Our consultancy wishes to provide yourself with a comprehensive service offering, which is inclusive of…” This is unconditionally and unreservedly a bad thing.
And if you find yourself in disagreement with myself, that might just make you a little bit of a fool too.