Smexting and Bacn

Wired’s Jargon Watch has a couple of interesting new words.

Smexting has been coined to describe the habit of sending an sms, while having a cigarette outside an office or pub, where people have been forced to retreat by law in various parts of the world – most recently in the UK. Orange reported a noticeable surge in sms volumes when the ban came in in the Summer.

As an ex-smoker myself (many years ago now), I don’t wish to sound too disapproving of the habit, but going out for the evening in London is so much more pleasant these days on one level. On the other hand, if you’re in the company of smokers, they tend to disrupt the evening by constantly disappearing, which adds another dimension to how anti-social smoking.

I’m also struck by the power of an idea whose time has really come. Just like the environmental movement changed almost overnight from minority passion to mainstream belief, smoking has gone from something pretty cool to being illegal in confined public places in an increasing number of Western countries – and more will inevitably follow. In fact, the cool factor has changed in that time into something more akin to self-advertising stupidity or at the very least, a statement that the smoker is so unable to control themselves that they have to stand outside in the rain and cold to consume their drug. My theory about smexting is that they’re not killing time, or asking their mates for advice on how to give up (Orange’s unlikely theory) but to distract themselves from their deep embarrassment of being seen smoking.

By the way, I’m not a rabid anti-smoker, although I might sound like one. But even the most ardent puffer would have to admit that these days, it’s really lost it.

The other new term is Bacn (“bacon”) and is spam’s close cousin as refers to all those useless email newsletters you sign up for and never have time to read. So while they’re legitimate and permission based, they’re still useless and vaguely annoying. Actually, I think RSS readers cut down on Bacn – at least for me. Although there probably needs to be a new term for all those RSS feeds I now subscribe to and never get round to reading. How about “Pinks”? Continuing the piggy theme by crossing it with links. Hmmmm…I wonder if it’ll catch on?

However, Bacn also highlighted the need to a new word to describe Mobile Bacn – in this case, sms based marketing alerts that we may agree to sign up for from time to time. Like Bacn, they’re opt in, but if they don’t get read or acted on, they’re just as useless. Mocn?

Can anyone do any better?

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