It’s true! I’m a rageaholic! I’m addicted to rageahol!
~ Homer Simpson
Some of the best quotes ever come from Homer Simpson.
As in Homer’s example, why do we keep adding “aholic” to all sorts of nouns to make them mean an addiction: workaholic, chocaholic, sleepaholic, etc.? Especially when they’re not even real addictions? And when the suffix is meaningless. It’s stolen from “alcoholic”, which has been used as a term to describe someone addicted to alcohol.
The suffix “ic” doesn’t even mean addiction; just something relating to or characterized by – as in, “alcoholic beverage”, “seismic activity”, “academic”.
It’s all fun and games, but I wonder if it doesn’t diminish the meaning of the original word. Alcoholism isn’t the same as being really fond of chocolate, is it?
Another example of suffix bastardization is “athon” – walkathon, telethon, danceathon, drinkathon, sale-a-thon. The original word, “marathon” comes from the Greek town by the same name. They held a running competition regularly and their athletes were called the Marathon runners.
Along those same lines is the “burger” suffix, which had now sort of become a word (or probably more accurately, a “morpheme”). The original hamburger is named after a similar sandwich invented in the town of Hamburg, Germany. There is no town of Cheeseburg, Chickenburg, Turkeyburg or Salmonburg. (Well, there might be, but they were probably named after the sandwich rather than the other way around.)
And, finally, since I used it in my second sentence, “blogosphere” is one of those protologisms. The suffix (and morpheme) “sphere”, means something like a 3-dimensional body where all points are an equal distance from a center.
I’m not sure that the blogging community meets that definition. But it’s interesting that there’s actually some controversy about who first invented the term blogosphere. Brad Graham and William Quick are both laying claim to coining the term.
 I love words like this! A neologism is a newly coined term that has been widely used for some time, but hasn’t quite made it into the dictionary. A protologism is an even newer word that isn’t even really a word yet and probably shouldn’t be a word, but is being used. Protologism might be the only word that is actually an example of itself.
 The smallest linguistic unit that has semantic meaning