Saturday, 2 June 2007

Word of the day

Today's word is traditionalesque, which means commerce disguised as tradition. The word comes from a review (in last week's The Economist) of One Perfect Day: the Selling of the American Wedding, by Rebecca Mead. It does for weddings, the review implies, what Jessica Mitford did for funerals. "An example of traditionalesque would be the 'Apache wedding prayer' read by a freelance multi-faith wedding minister." None of the players, nor the prayer, has the slightest Apache connection. Ms Mead appears to have coined the term traditionalesque, which on reflection is a strikingly useful one. In fact, opportunities to create new traditions are all around us, often seized by the commercially-focussed, or sometimes just by people with an exaggerated ironical bent.

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