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A dissenting vote on "hideous"

Posted by Bob on March 27, 2003

In Reply to: Telestrate posted by Brian from Shawnee on March 27, 2003

: : : Does any one know the meaning of the word "telestrate"? I think it might be some kind of portmanteau.

: : : Thanks in advance for any information.

: : It's a hideous word, isn't it? I only know it as a verb and have heard it used by those masters of word mutilation at Microsoft, amongst others. It's a recent coinage to do with overlaying graphics onto video, usually in the course of a presentation, or maybe, if you have interactive TV, if you call up facts about the programme that you are currently watching which then overlay the screen. The provenance is fairly depressingly clear - tele as in "television" (a leap of faith from the original Gr**k "distant") and strate as in L*tin "layer".

: I've never come across this word in verb form before. I'm familiar with the form "telestrator", which is an electronic pen used by commentators during sporting events to draw lines on a freeze-frame on the screen, to clarify some point they're making about the action. Currently the device is seeing heavy use on maps of Iraq.

: I was somewhat surprised that "Telestrator" doesn't seem to be a trade mark or brand name.
It's a useful gadget. The sports analyst circles the player-to-pay-attention-to on the replay, and you learn a little something. Television + demonstrate. But my immediate concern is ... why is this a "hideous" word? Given that this device exists, and seems clearly educational, it's here to stay. I'd suggest the verb that flows from it seems to be useful, too, on the grounds of efficiency: "telestrate" is a single word that sums up "point out the important things to notice in this televised image, " an 11-word pile of baggage. It's not a euphonious word, but not all that clanky, either. Why fight it?