I know it’s a bit early in the week, but consider this interesting example of linguistic innovation:
“We remain keen not to introduce a fixed cap on our products, as we do not feel this consumerate with the general needs of most Broadband users.”
At first I thought it might be a malapropism (“an incorrect usage of a word, usually with comic effect” – Wikipedia). Well, the effect is definitely comical, but is ‘consumerate’ a word? I’d never heard it before. Googling it produced 374 hits, most of them using it as a noun (analogous with ‘electorate’), whereas it’s used as an adverb in the quote. Or is it an example of euphony (“language which strikes the ear as smooth, pleasant, and musical”)? Hmmm… Glad I’m not a lexicographer. I’m reminded, though, of a conversation I once overheard in the lounge of the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. Two middle-class ladies were bragging to one another about the merits of their respective husbands’ company cars. “The thing about Jim’s Volvo”, said one, “is that it’s very good for the environment”. “How’s that?”, inquired her companion. “It’s got a cataclysmic convertor”.
Thanks to James M, who found ‘consumerate’ in an email from Plusnet to its subscribers which was published on the ADSLguide site today.