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Symphomaniac

noun; blending
One who has an excessive interest in symphonies. This neologism is easily understood as referring to a person crazy about symphonies. Mania is by definition excessive; however this neologism is used in such a way to promote such manic behavior (*be* a sympho*maniac*, the advertisement suggests!) Considering the Houston Symphony is targeting University-going students, many of whom prefer pop-culture events to attending "old-fashioned" symphonies, such positive reinforcement is probably necessary to lure students into attending a potentially "uncool" event. The advertisement also makes use of the fact that young adults may not see excessive zeal as a bad thing, the way older (and thus more conservative) people might. Furthermore, symphomaniac is analogous to the established word nymphomaniac - differing by only one letter - and that similarity is something that would raise eyebrows and increase awareness, which is the point of the advertisement.
 
Be a Symphomaniac.
Etymology : sympho(ny) x maniac. Symphony, from Middle English symphonye, from Old French symphonie, from Latin symphonia, from Greek symphonia, derived from symphonos, from syn- ‘together’ + phone ‘voice, sound’ + -y ‘N’. Maniac, from French maniaque, from Late Latin maniacus, from Greek maniakos, from mania, from mani ‘intense desire’ + –ac ‘N’
Source : Advertisement accompanying The Rice Thresher
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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