Sometimes, I fantasize that I'm the one who invented a certain word. For instance, "beturtlenecked."
This word recently cropped up this week in Xtra!'s editorial Harper's Holy War:
Canada's gay communities have rarely known political leaders to be our champions. But I can't recall another leader who so actively tried to turn religious people against their gay fellow citizens.I first used the word beturtlenecked in the National Post in an interview I conducted with Bernardo Bertolucci in February of 2004:
It's one thing for Stephen Harper, the nutty rightwing opposition leader, to conduct himself thus. But imagine Stephen Harper, freshly trimmed and beturtlenecked, as our prime minister: goading the faithful, exploiting misunderstandings, fomenting bigotry, shredding the social fabric. It's shameful, reprehensible and menacing.
[M]any of revolutionaries of 1968 were also involved in a few movements that have not aged so well. [Bertolucci's] The Dreamers acknowledges this in the character of Theo, a young, beturtlenecked intellectual who admires Chairman Mao and the Chinese Cultural Revolution and is just waiting for a reason to toss his first Molotov cocktail. In Theo's cinephilic mind, the Long March is a great cinematic event choreographed by a brilliant director.The next month, I again used the word in a review of Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle.
Alas, however, it seems that I was not the first to fashion a word after bespectacled to deal with turtlenecks. A Google search turns up a mere 30 hits for "beturtlenecked" -- but there is single hit that dates to before February, 2004. In a review of Phranc's 1989 album "I Enjoy Being a Girl," The Guardian James Delingpole apparently wrote: "At her best Phranc can easily match both the earthy richness of the beturtlenecked Tracy Chapman and the sweetly innocent tones of Suzanne Vega."
Likewise, an Infomart search turns up a single article that uses the word "beturtlenecked" before I did in its database. In 1998, The Gazette's long-time Quebec City columnist Don MacPherson refered to Andre Caille as " the smooth-talking, beturtlenecked president of Hydro."
So, while I seem not to have been the first to combine "turtleneck" with the prefix be- and the suffix -ed, beturtlenecked is not a common word. We should work together to change that.