Wednesday, July 28, 2010

done with ‘-ista’

File:Nicholas Hilliard 019.jpgI don’t know about the rest of you, but I am suffering from a glut of ‘ista’ suffixes. First, there was barista—annoyingly euro showoff, but ok…. Then there was the rise of the ‘fashionista’. Ok, what des that mean? Someone who likes fashion. Um hmmmm, like someone who is ‘fashionable’ or ‘fashion-conscious’ or trendy? DO we really need to call them ‘fashionistas’ if we have all those other ways of putting it? Something about the tone of that word just strikes me as wrong. Too Sex and the City, or something.

Then of course, there we are, the ‘perfumistas,’ and maybe I’m biased, but this one makes a little more sense to me since there really wasn’t any kind of name for our group of weirdoes before—smell-obsessed? Nah. interested in perfume? Eew. perfume-lovers? noooooo! etc.

SO I was willing to stomach the obnoxiously ubiquitous neologism for the time being, since it worked as a descriptive noun for our folk. But then, ‘recessionista’ happened… and a whole slew of similar new splicings that just make my hair stand on end.

And then, there’s the problem of the hypercorrection. IN the romance languages, from which the model words, barista/artista, etc. originate (although the ultimate origin is Greek, I believe), the -ista ending can be both masculine and feminine, unlike most words finishFile:Jacob Gerritsz Cuyp tüdruk kukega.jpging with an ‘A’ which usually designate a feminine gender, like reina [SP],  strada[IT], and galinha[P]. SO a male coffeemaker is not a baristo. He is, like his female coworker, a barista. A male perfume lover is not a perfumisto, but a perfumista. Granted, no one’s expected to know this, but it is an annoying hypercorrection in my nitpicky little book. Now I just sound whiny, so I’ll try to stop ranting.

The bottom line is that I’m done talking about us, us perfumeheads, as perfumistas. I draw the line. After all, this isn’t a fad—this is serious business, this smelling of potions, and we shouldn’t give it such a Johnny-come-lately, wannabe name. (I’m mostly joking about the high seriousness of our endeavor, but not completely {smiles})The question is, of course, what SHOULD we call ourselves?

Any thoughts?

CREDITS:

Painting of Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia by Hilliard, Nicholas  and “A girl with a rooster” by Jacob Gerritsz Cuyp Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

11 comments:

  1. I like "fumehead", and have referred to myself as a "perfume anorack".

    Thanks for the heads up on perfumisto. You are right that not a lot of people are as termination-aware, myselfista included.

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  2. "I'm not just auh fashionista , I'm auh Maxxinista!"

    TeeHee! You know the TJ Maxx commercial?

    I annoyed the girls so bad in the store awhile ago cause I kept saying it in a bad imitation of the accent. ;D

    But jokes aside dear I have no idea what to call ourselves- it reminds of snarky teenage movies when the new girl goes to school and the girl that befriends her points out all the clicks "There's the where the bonehead jocks hang out, the debate club nerds, the creepy goths, the loner strags and the tables belong to the fake plastics." When they point out us we'd be "There are the fume' huffers, they all think they smell sooo good! Pffft!
    If you wanna smell like G-Ma maybe!" complete with exaggerated eyerolls.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just go with "perfume freak". :) I don't actually have a problem with "perfumista", but it seems to suggest a certain skill level that I don't feel that I have.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I must say, I love 'perfumista' because it's urbane, transcontinental and - as you say - unisex.

    Hot.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Josephine, point taken! I know I'm being pedantic and am totally on my own in this--I don't expect, or want, any of you to stop saying 'perfumista'!

    thanks for bravely defending your preference.

    ReplyDelete
  6. ChickenFreak! I like the freak name too! I think you are right about the skill level implied by 'perfumista,' and, like you, I don't think I qualify!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Tamara, you are hilarious, always! Love the high-school labeling scenario! I feel like I'm in a John Hughes movie all of a sudden!

    Yeah, and the MAxxista ad campaign is soooooo annoying!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Flittersniffer, I like fumehead too. And I don;t know if I needed to rant on about 'correct' usage on the -a & -o endings--I just can't help myself sometimes......

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  9. I am , and have always been a fragrance fanatic...*GRIN*
    perfumista ? I can take it or leave it , I've been called worse things .

    ReplyDelete
  10. AMEN!! to Waft Carol`s Fragrance Fanatic; and I am purrrfectly pleased w/ Perfumista. Going online or to a store for fragrance means morphing into a Prowling Pink Panther Perfumista who Shops for Scents on the SLY!!! :-0 :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well, when you put it like that, Hotlanta Linda......

    Carol, LOL

    ReplyDelete

what thinkest thou?

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