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Houstonization1

noun Affixation, analogy
Something that is characterized by becoming like in Houston in some way, usually with a negative connotation
 
I have only ever heard it used in the context of infrastructure and extensive sprawl; Houston is almost uniquely terrible in this respect and seems to be recognized across the country as such. Any other negative aspect about Houston like the heat or the hurricanes that could theoretically be implied by “Houstonization” is not because Houston is not the only major city in the U.S. with those characteristics. The speaker would have used this word because it is a catchy way of saying “the process of becoming like Houston” that fits a pattern in the language already.
Etymology : Houston is the name of a large city in Texas. -ize is a word-forming element used to create verbs that mean “the doing of” the thing to which the suffix is attached. It comes from Greek -izein into Latin -izare, then through Old French -iser into Middle English -isen. -ate is then a verb-creating suffix adopted into Middle English from Latin as -at but subsequently changed, and -ion then changes the word back into a noun that refers to a state or condition. This suffix is from Latin -ion that served the same function as it does today.
Source : “The $7.6 billion FasTracks project saved Denver from a dreaded fate locals call 'Houstonization' is the story of regional cooperation that required the buy-in of businesspeople, elected officials, civil servants and environmentalists across a region the size of Delaware.” -“The Train That Saved Denver,” Politico Magazine, May 19, 2016
Last modified: 4 December 2016


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