7.0392 Computerholism (1/48)

Wed, 12 Jan 1994 11:15:30 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 7, No. 0392. Wednesday, 12 Jan 1994.

Date: Tue, 4 Jan 1994 19:57:26 -0500 (EST)
From: mccarty@epas.utoronto.ca (W. McCarty)
Subject: computerholism?

Just now I was looking up words in the OED2, and came across the
wonderful suffix "-aholic". I offer the following in the spirit of
fair use, with thanks to the OED and to the Press that produced it,
stirred by the conviction that we who are humanistic computerholics
in the northern hemisphere need some homorous self-mockery at the
moment. Just look at what company the word puts us in:

-aholic .... colloq. (orig. U.S.). Also -(o)holic.
The final element of workaholic (after alcoholic n. 2) used as a
suffix forming ns., as computerholic, newsaholic, spendaholic, etc.,
(chiefly humorous nonce-words) denoting one who appears to be addicted
to the object, activity, etc., specified; a person subject to an
inordinate craving for or obsession with (something).

1965 P. Wyden Overweight Society vi. 106, I was a sugarholic...Mom
kept saying, _You eat your spinach and I'll give you a piece of candy.'

1971 Southern Living May 29/1 Donald Goldstein ..probably knows more
manufacturers personally than Porter and other club manufacturers.
Goldstein, you see, is a 'golfaholic'.

1972 Time 24 July 53/1 Thousands of men were on it consistently enough
to be dubbed 'hashaholics' by their buddies.

1973 Times 19 Mar. 7/1 The organization called Weightwatchers
describes_its members as carboholics.

1974 Washington Post 2 Dec. a25/1 Until Thanksgiving Day, I had
considered myself just another enthusiastic fan of pro football, not
an abuser, a footballaholic.

1977 New Scientist 19 May 405 There are clearly more 'computerholics'
in Britain than many in the business ever imagined.

1979 Daily Tel. 27 Oct. 15/8 All journalists, in some degree, are newsaholics.

1982 Chicago Sun-Times 31 Aug. 37 The guy is a womanizer, a
spend-a-holic, uses dope and is strictly no good.

1985 N.Y. Times 13 Jan. 14/5 Barbara Shepherd, owner and manager of
Book Tree, ..said she was a 'bookaholic'.

Willard McCarty / Centre for Computing in the Humanities
University of Toronto / mccarty@epas.utoronto.ca