‘Rocktober’ and other amiable etymological contractions

Welcome to Rocktober, Baby. That’s what all the rock and roll radio stations call this, the 10th month of the year. Doesn’t require more than a casually cocked ear to realize the airwaves are flooded with concerts and giveaways and promotional tie-ins. All in the name of Rocktober, Baby.

This amiable etymological contraction of Rock & October is just another example of how impatient our society has become. No one has the time to say… Rocking October. We’re busy people, here. It’s Rocktober, Baby. And the “Baby” is permanently attached like a vestigial accentuater.

This blended word invention was described by Lewis Carroll as a portmanteau. But linguistic compression has picked up considerable generational speed since Humpty Dumpty explained to Alice how “mimsy” is mix of miserable and flimsy; a word that today is often used to describe the Democratic Party’s chances of recapturing the House.

Our enormous appetite for abridgement can also be seen in how Beefalo, frenemy, bromance and Sharknado have squirreled their way into the national lexicon. As has the manner of conjoining proper names: Bennifer, TomKat, Brangelina and Hillbilly. Won’t be long before history books laud the adventures of the outlaws Clonnie. The majesty of Antopatra. Turner Classic Movies hosting a Traburn Film Festival. Ken & Barbie become Karbie.

Most baffling is why more folks aren’t jumping on this phonetic phenomena bandwagon. Why doesn’t ESPN celebrate the only month where all the major sports; baseball, football, basketball and hockey are televised, as Jocktober?

Star Trek fans could enjoy 31 days of Spocktober, maybe with an assist from the Baby Doctor people who could piggyback on the same push. Create a hybrid of baby Trekkies. Pointy ears and pacifiers. Often referred to as Comic- Con.

Socktober and Frocktober for department stores. Chinese restaurants featuring Woktober specials. Bachtober, a staple of classical radio stations. Pawn shops hawking Hocktober. And pet stores hocking Hawktober. Crocktober for the Society of American Casseroles: Slow Cooker Division. Cocktober for chicken restaurants, right wing political donors and porn sites.

Easy to envision Doctober as the Mother of All Tobers hosting such tober tributaries as… 1. A paean to the advancement of polio research with Jonas Salktober. 2. Biological Clocktober saluting all the brave women who didn’t start mothering until the age of 50. And finally… 3. Extolling the virtues of that diverse group of Americans who go to work every day wearing green cotton with Smocktober. Wouldn’t this be the perfect opportunity for the NRA to focus on 2nd amendment rights with Glocktober? And what keeps The CW from plugging their sit- com lineup as Mocktober? Oh, because they’re not funny. That’s right. Well then, why not substitute Schlocktober?

Stocktober is an umbrella name designed to encompass the NYSE, the Cattlemen’s Association, warehousemen all over the country, road company productions of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” and makers of broth. And who can forget Stalktober, dedicated to the appreciation of celery, asparagus, fennel and rhubarb?

Bangkoktober for the Asian tourist industry. Shocktober for Halloween and midterm election fans. And of course, let us not forget, the very reason for this column, Writer’s Blocktober. Bringing us to the future: and isn’t it about time we see an impassioned push for Blowvember? Gleecember? Pecanuary? But until then, enjoy it while you can. Talking about Rocktober, Baby.

Will Durst
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