Entertainment writers love to invent words, often by shortening and combining two existing words. How old do you think these show biz terms are? For each term below, guess the year of the earliest citation in the Oxford English Dictionary. No fair peeking. Next week I’ll give the answers and we’ll see how well crowdsourcing works.
Biopic <biographical + picture ‘A biographical film, esp. one dramatizing the life of a public or historical figure’ And it’s pronounced BY-oh-pik, not as Jon Stewart sometimes says, by-AH-pik.
Dramedy <drama + comedy ‘A work of art exhibiting qualities of both drama and comedy, especially a television program or film in which the comedic elements are primarily derived from character and plot development rather than from artificial situations, typical comic formulae, or slapstick’
Irritainment <irritating + entertainment ‘Broadcast material that is irritating yet still entertaining’
Sitcom <situation + comedy ‘A comedy series in which the humor derives largely from the particular conjunction of characters and circumstances’