For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Friday, 19 March 2004

IN THE DRIVING SEAT

Always keen to boost his vocabulary, the IPKat delights in learning new words. Imagine his delight, therefore, at finding the word “Volvoid” on the US Word Spy website. So what is a Volvoid? He is a white, moderately affluent, suburban professional who is politically liberal. The word seems to be a sort of metonymy, “Volvo” being a symbol of white, liberal, affluent Sweden. The Word Spy adds a caveat: “There's a different adjectival sense of this word that means ‘of or relating to Volvos or Volvo drivers’ or, as a noun, ‘a Volvo driver’. This sense dates to about 1988”. In the light of this, the IPKat wonders what sort of Americans purchase Volvo cars these days, what message the Volvo brand name sends them and what their self-image is.

Click here for metonymy, monotony, monopoly and monogamy

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