March 27, 2007

Dear Everyone

Please stop using the term "mashup." It is neither fresh nor particularly descriptive. You aren't using it because it's the best word for the job, you're using it because you think it makes you seem hip and current.

Unfortunately, when everyone from new car reviewers to food marketers adopted the term approximately 5 minutes after it first appeared in Wired, it became neither.

So knock it off. If I want cloying, overly self-aware and ironic pseudo-slang passed off as descriptive language, I'll read the PMLA.

Thanks so much,
BAW

Posted by Big Arm Woman at March 27, 2007 09:11 AM | TrackBack
Comments

Oh yeah? Well, I'm so hip and down with the kids (see, you can tell, because I use phrases like "down with the kids") that I've never even *heard* the word "mashup." What does that even mean?

Posted by: Emily at March 27, 2007 10:00 AM

Well, you could substitute "remix" and that would work just as well. It's where you take a bunch of crap and mix it with other crap--music, movies, books, etc, and come up with some totally new crap! Except not new, because it's all recycled! Woo!

Also known as "sampling," or, if you're an english major, "postmodern pastiche."

And just look at all those pretty words that we ALREADY HAVE to describe the phenomenon. Geez.

Posted by: BAW at March 27, 2007 12:13 PM

I've only seen "mashup" used very often to describe the combination of two or more existing songs into a "new" one, but they never claim it's totally new; more a test of skill to do it well.

Using it in car reviews or food reviews (unless speaking of food that was actually mashed) sounds awful.

Posted by: Sigivald at March 27, 2007 12:19 PM

Sigivald -

When I heard it used with music, it made sense, but didn't seem much differentiated from "remix."

But now folks are using it with video, print, and yes, I saw it over the weekend in some article about new car design. Ergo, I have no choice but to declare the term overused and annoying.

It's a hard job, but someone's gotta do it.

Posted by: BAW at March 27, 2007 02:33 PM

Actually, a "remix" consists of altering the content of a single song. "Mashup" is mixing two or more songs. When I have seen it used, it was in the sense that model rocketeers using the term kit bashing. Again, the essence is creating something new out of pieces of other things.

I could be persuaded that "pastiche" is an approprite term for this type of thing.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at March 27, 2007 02:53 PM

Plus, pastiche just sounds classier. Mashup has unfortunate carb connotations for me.

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