Saturday, 9 February 2013

Word of the day

Floop

Floop [floop]
Noun, plural unchanged - floop


1. Floop: [Formal] Denoting a phenomena that is recursive in and of itself


2. Floop [Informal] Something that just doesn’t make sense, especially pretentious logical arguments and discussions that are going round in circles. err... floop?


Origin


The brilliant thinker and cat stroker, Earnst Flowers, in his seminal book FLOOP, defined floop as a meshing of the words ‘floop’ and ‘loop’. Thus becoming the first of a class of quasi-anachronisms to contain itself. There were fears that this infinite regress of meaning could have catastrophic effects in peoples minds, until he was reportedly captured by the Soviets, and under duress he admitted that he chose floop only because it sounded ‘pleasingly like fruit loop’. This is a claim he has since denied.

There are still fierce arguments over what the original or nth floop means anyway, even spawning a branch of maths with the same name. Other have pointed out that the vagueness inherent in the word floop mirrors the very concept of floops itself, creating yet another floop loop. The academic consensus today is that this we shouldn’t think about it too much because the whole thing is ‘literally mental’.

For many years the word floop was the bulwark of chubby college professors eager to point out any hint of meaninglessness in colleagues work in order to hide the vacuousness of their own research. However, the word re-entered the popular lexicon after the ‘um.... floop?!’ campaign conducted by a popular brand of Swiss cheese. This soon became an internet meme and then a worldwide phenomena involving an exclamation of ‘um... floop?!’ after somebody had said something thereby implying that it is meaningless – it is judged to be particularly funny if they have spent a long time preparing the speech. Prince Philip neatly summed up this global penchant when he remarked ‘what can you say, that I can’t ‘um.... floop?!’?’



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