0

What would be a good word to describe "making things nobody wants"? If any.

I'm searching for a word to describe a negative connotation. Context: the current trend is to fabricate "everything connected", "internet-of-things". There are numerous examples that make no sense (and a few that do). How to capture the fabrication of the connected shaver that tells you you have to shave, the connected hairbrush that tells you your hair health score, and the bluetooth socks that tell left from right?

A single word so after you have spoken about various examples and you want to end with a strong exit that will be remembered. Say big on a slide on its own or after you have written about it and want to repeat going back to that 'feeling' in the article by repetition of a single word.

Portmanteaus are allowed.

I have been searching synonyms for useless and obsolete but that doesn't capture the "making" part. Also, I have been thinking on non-existent options like combining obsolete and useless with engineering but that wasn't quite it either.

2

It seems like you want to load the verb with the judgemental aspect, but the context is always going to be that the making is in itself succesful and therefore positive, even if the product made is not going to be wanted. Because of this you are not going to find one word that does the trick. Two words is easier:

Gimcrack-fabricator.

Originator of tat / purveyor of tat.

There is a verb "to mangle" which can be used in the context of "to mangle a tune" which is making a noise nobody wants.

Proliferating redundancy and breeding degeneracy?

There are words that can refer to the thing nobody wants: gimcrack refers to something that is made but is of little value and has a quite negative context:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gimcrack.

Tat is an English word meaning things made of low quatlity, which is often used in the context of stuff that is new but nobody would want - there are lots of shops on English high streets that sell gifts and memorabilia, and most of this is referred to as pointless tat.

http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/tat

In respect of the making part then "mocking up", "faking up", "bodging", "cobbling together", could all refer in a negative connotation to making stuff nobody would want: e.g. "cobbled together a load of tat".

But none of these match the pure phrase you are looking for. Inherent in the question is a contradiction, because if someone makes something then at least one person wants it, otherwise they would not have made it. If there are these kinds of semantic conradictions then it is not possible to find one word to cover both sides of the contradiction.

If it is in terms of a more passive type of making such as "making" babies, then there might be some verbs appropriate to that.

An important factor is whether or not there is a negative or positive connotation. For instance, if someone is making face masks in order to prevent infection then you could say these were things that were made that nobody wants to see, or to think about, but would that necessarily have a negative connotation? Of course nobody wants to be infected, so the fact they don't want to be used would connotate a positive outcome which the grammar would respond to, and so there is unlikely to be one word that can be used, there will always be a defining context and this will require extra words to set that context.

  • Thank you for your elaborate answer. I'm searching for a word to describe a negative connotation. Better context: the current trend is to fabricate "everything connected", "internet-of-things". There are numerous examples that make no sense (and a few that do). How to capture the fabrication of the connected shaver that tells you you have to shave, the connected hairbrush that tells you your hair health score, and the bluetooth socks that tell left from right? – bastijn Aug 6 '17 at 6:37
  • 1
    Ah, like the torch that is also s calculator with a bottle opener in the handle, and flashes, and bleeps, and all you want is a torch to see in the dark on your walk from the car to the house. Or the Surf board with an ipad embedded in it - although that might be a good idea... "supererogatory" is closer, but not quite it. – David E Butler Aug 6 '17 at 8:57
  • 1
    Actually, in the sense you have it, where the item is performing extra functions but in the same field as its primary function - like the hairbrush that also tests your hair when all you want is a hairbruish then they would be "supererogatory" - but this is an adjective about the features of the thing, not the making of the thing itself. – David E Butler Aug 6 '17 at 9:01
  • I had the same problem. Capturing the making part, not only the item itself, is hard if not impossible in a single word. Gimcrack-fabricator is still nice, although for the use in mind I might go with a 'degeneration' (sorry, can't find the right word as English is not my main language) of supererogatory like supererogatoring. Food for thought. – bastijn Aug 6 '17 at 11:23
0

To qualify as a chindogu, an article must physically exist and function: there are no conceptual chindogu. Thus every chindogu has to be made. We might describe the making of such a product as chindogumaking, along the lines of shoemaking or breadmaking. Unfortunately, though, this term has no currency, and is not to be found in any dictionary. However, chindogu-making (with a hyphen) is arguably a legitimate construction.

The above link to YouTube is suggested because watching the videos gives a better initial idea of what chindogu are about than reading the (also recommended) Wikipedia article.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.