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indie(1)

clipping clipping with suffixation; adjective
Coming from an independent label; possessing a particular feature commonly associated with musicians or filmmakers working under an independent label.
 
Indie is an abbreviation of independent. It is generally used in the context of musicians or films. Perhaps the length of “independent” and awkwardness of its repetitive syllable sounds resulted in it being deemed insufficient for use in common vernacular and thus justified its clipping to indie. Film and music industries both thrive off of short and sweet descriptive terms that roll off the tongue well. In that regard, a short term such as indie far exceeds the much lengthier independent. Furthermore, as indie ends in an open mouth vowel sound, whereas independent ends in an oral stop, indie would be easier to weave between words in a spoken sentence, thus further promoting its use above that of independent. Although originally indie was used to refer to films and musicians working under an independent label, it soon expanded. As indie bands and filmmakers grew in popularity, they would sign new contracts and cease to possess the indie feature they once had. However, fans were eager to continue to refer to these groups as indie, thus expanding the term to referring to any musician or filmmaker who possesses the qualities commonly associated with filmmakers and musicians operating under an independent label. Of late, indie has fallen in popularity due to the fact that there is a positive, or at least neutral, connotation associated with the word. Now that following independent groups is associated with being a hipster, a decidedly negative term, it would be illogical to use indie alongside hipster. As to why a shift occurred from a positive connotation to a negative connotation, it is most likely due to the fact that enough people started following independent musicians and bands to make it no longer interesting or cutting-edge to do so.
Etymology : Indie was formed by clipping independent and adding the root ie.
Source : “Have you heard this awesome new indie band?” (Heard from brother during sophomore year of high school; 5/2005)
Last modified: 5 December 2011


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