Infobesity


What a weird word! I just read it in the latest Parenting magazine. It’s a new word coined by Susan Maushart to describe the addiction to technology that is sweeping the world. Ian Grant writes a short punchy article about the need for us as parents and wives and husbands to get this area of our lives in balance. He even suggests that if we are feeling bloated with infobesity we could go on an infofast to get things back in shape. “For a while: No Facebook, no email, no Internet. If you are shaking at the thought, you probably need it.”

Just a thought here – sometimes other people recognize our need to ‘infofast’ more than we do ourselves. 🙂

And while we’re talking about weird words, here’s another one I read in the same magazine. (Parenting is a great magazine – full of good advice!)

Ever heard of Mondegreen? It means the mishearing of words or lyrics. Bob Dylan never sang, “Dead ants are my friends; they’re blowing in the wind.”  We might have thought he said that, but he didn’t! Just the other day I overheard Jacob singing a song and listened with intrigue to the rather odd words he was singing. He had a good laugh at himslef when I told him the real words. I’m sure you’ve done it too. Mondegreen.

John Cowan writes in his article that the word ‘discipline’ can be a mondegreen.  “If I say ‘discipline’ and you hear “Whacking, yelling, and making kids feel bad”, then you’ve been mondegreened. When I say ‘discipline’, I mean training – giving a child skills and self control.  It’s helping children solve their own problems, think things through, and learn responsibility. Discipline is not something you do to your child because you are angry, but for them because you love them.”

I must confess, I’ve been ‘mondegreened’ a few times myself. Chris may say something to me, and because I’m not in a good frame of mind, I hear something totally different. I need to stop singing the wrong lyrics to the song (lots of songs are griping songs!) and learn to sing the correct ones.

Rosie ~ 10 June 2011

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2 responses to “Infobesity”:

  1. Actually, I believe the word was originally coined by James Morris, the Dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, “infobesity” refers to the belief that searching Google for information provides a junk information diet. See here: http://www.soi.city.ac.uk/~dbawden/bawden%20and%20brophy%20ap.pdf

  2. i believe it was Alvin Toffler in the book “Future Shock”

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