What Sniglets, Haiti and the International Monetary Fund have in common

I blivett multiple times a night, try to avoid situations that could lead to microts, and continue to be in awe at the destructions of societies that are IMF'd. Sniglet is a unique, time-stamped specific word. Comedian Rich Hall made the term popular on the 1980s HBO series, Not Necessarily the News. A sniglet is "any word that doesn't appear in the dictionary, but should." The few times I had access to HBO in the early 80s, these word-mashes fascinated me. Yet, the only ones I remember is blivett: "to turn one's pillow over and over, looking for the cool spot"; and Microts, "the two thumbnail-sized pieces you end up with when trying to remove a paper towel in a public washroom."

Consider this historical thread of re-weaving words that led to the sniglet phenomenon: "Gelett Burgess published Burgess Unabridged: A New Dictionary of Words You Have Always Needed in 1914. This collection of neologisms was followed by a 1963 essay comprised of plausible definitions for real place-names published in The Jenguin Pennings. Douglas Adams published something similar in his 1983 book, The Meaning of Liff; his concept arose while traveling with John Lloyd. Lloyd produced Not the Nine O'Clock News and the concept was sold to America. In America, the show became Not Necessarily the News and this show adopted the made-up word definition concept as well, calling it Sniglets."

For more about sniglets and popular culture, and a longer list of sniglets, check out this post from Groovy History. For a discussion of Afterliff, a sequel to The Meaning of Liff and The Deeper Meaning of Liff, fellow Boinger Rob Beschizza penned this review. For a video of Rich Hall from a 1983 Not Necessarily the News segment introducing supermarket sniglets, click here.

Oh, and what is IMF***ed"?

It is what happens to a country when the International Monetary Fund imposes sanctions and structural adjustment programs that eviscerate the public sector, privatize basic services and land, and commodify all life and social relations in the name of freedom and democracy. Note: IMF'd is a lyric from the Hip Hop Jazz fusion crew the Welfare Poets, and their song, Sak Pase, about revolutionary Haitian history, available as a video here. Sak Pase is Haitian creole for "what's happening."

Sake pase full lyric: "And the spirit of Mackandal in Bwa Kayiman/Voodoo ceremony/Initiating Haitian liberation/Washin' waters… there's no attainment/Tryin' to orchestrate this coup against their nation/Through political isolation/And economic asphyxiation/Aristide was destabilized/He wouldn't agree to privatization That's when the US IMF'd him with sanctions/ The CIA organized land orders and merchants/Under group 184 and convergence/Trained illegal insurgents/ Puttin' murderers back into service." For more on Haiti, the IMF and US Foreign policy, check out Getting Haiti Right this Time: The US and the Coup from Common Courage Press, and edited by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now.