Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Am I a wargamista ... and if not, why not?

I can remember a time when the addition of the suffix -ista to a word formed a noun that denoted someone who followed a principle ... usually a political one (e.g. a Peronista or a Zapatista). Nowadays, however, this seems to have changed.

Now we have:
  • Fashionista: Someone who creates or promotes high fashion (e.g. a fashion designer or fashion editor) or who dresses according to or follows the current fashion tends.
  • Guardianista: A regular reader of the Guardian newspaper ... and therefore regarded as being middle-class, liberal, and politically correct.
  • Barista: Someone who serves behind the counter of a coffee shop.
(Note: The latter is not to be confused with a barrister. A cynic might say that the main differences between a barista and a barrister are that the latter will make worse coffee and charge you more ... but might do a better job defending you in court.)

We also have Blairistas (supporters of Tony Blair), Clintonistas (supporters of the Clinton family), Palinistas (devoted admirers of Sarah Palin), Madridista (someone who works for or supports Real Madrid football team ... which probably makes them a Francoista as well!), Fatshionistas (overweight people interested in fashion designed for the larger person*), and Recessionistas (people who can dress stylishly without spending a lot of money to do so).

As adding -ista seems to be all the fashion these days, can I now describe myself as a wargamista ... and if not, why not?

* I may be overweight, but I could never be described as being fashionably dressed. Hence I am not (and never could be) a Fatshionista.

22 comments:

  1. Yes ... I like wargamista ... very cosmopilitan. I also like the way Wargamista inverts to Mister Wargame (equally appropriate perhaps ...) ...

    :) Phil

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  2. Like it ! - will use it to annoy people.

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  3. Good man Bob!

    I shall organise the Wargamista Pride Parade.

    We shall need a flag of course...

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  4. SoA Shows North (Phil),

    I thought that it might appeal ... and I like the Mister Wargamer inversion!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. Mosstrooper,

    I suspect that the term will annoy a lot of wargamers who take themselves quite seriously (e.g. 'I have a collection of military miniature figurines; I don't own any toy soldiers!').

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. Conrad Kinch,

    Can I be the Parade Marshal?

    As to a suitable flag ... I'll leave the design up to you!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. I would prefer the old word "wargamer"...or Gentleman Gamer... :-)

    By the way, barista is the italian word for bartender and barman... ;-)

    Marzio, Gentleman Gamer...

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  8. Fogsoldiers (Marzio),

    Gentleman Gamer sounds great!

    I knew that barista was Italian for barman ... but it's introduction into English has led to the suffix -ista being added to all sorts of other words to form new nouns ... hence my tongue-in-cheek blog entry.

    Incidentally I was served last week by a barista in my local coffee shop. The shop has an Italian name, but is owned by a British company that originally made its money from brewing and owning pubs. The barista was Polish ... so Italian-style coffee is now truly international.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. Bob

    I guess one could apply it to all sorts of things, like if you are crazy about the alphabet, well, alphabista kinda does it. Just one letter, though, like, I don't know, maybe the s, and you would be a sista.

    Hang on, this could end in a brawl.

    But I think I get your drift. I'll just go drift it elsewhere.. goes off humming desperately trying to make word like driftista.. losing the plot.

    Regards

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  10. Bob,

    I think I'll stick with 'wargamer' - an English name for a hobby invented and popularised by two great exponents of the English language - Robert Louis Stevenson and HG Wells.

    Alternatively. I could use the word coined by one of my early pupils; 'historitician'!

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  11. Arthur1815,

    You old stick-in-the-mud!

    In truth, I'll be sticking to the term wargamer myself ... but wargamista just sounded a bit different.

    All the best,

    Bob

    PS. Historitician sounds a bit too much like mortician for my liking!

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  12. Arthur,

    As long as you don't ins-ista on drifting away from being one of my regular blog readers!

    (A terrible play on words I know ... but I think that it is excusable in this case.)

    All the best,

    Bob

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  13. I like 'Wargamista', but I hear echoes of 'Wargames Slut' and even worse things like 'fashion' and 'trend' creeping out of the shadows.

    I'm not sure about 'Gentleman Gamer' either - not with my background.

    Maybe 'Wargamenik' for me then.

    By the way, I was once given the definition of a barrister as being someone akin to a rhinoceros: short sighted, thick skinned and always ready to charge.

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  14. Personally, I am just not a fan of neologisms like that. :P

    I'll stick with gamer, painter, sculptor, collector, etc. Well, I don't really refer to myself as any of those. If I talk about hobbies at all I usually just talk about what I do not what I am. I do call myself a book-lover (or bibliophile) though.

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  15. Gary Amos,

    I like your argument against the use of the term wargamista ... and the definition of the word barrister!

    I won't be using the term wargamenik myself as it has too many similarities to beatnik ... and I am not that 'far out, man'.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  16. Fitz-Badger,

    A very good argument for sticking to the status quo ... and for describing our hobby in the way that best suits us as individuals.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  17. heheh the use of -ista in this way is a basic part of the Spanish language. Welcome to the metropolitan world. Odd how a basically reserved lot like the brits are so eager to adopt language fashions from all the world's great languages. Maybe we are moving towards a "world" language?

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  18. Bob,

    Interesting that your reaction to 'historitician' was to think 'mortician' - not entirely inappropriate in the context of wargaming! - whilst it reminded me of 'beautician', making the grim reality more glamorous and attractive than it really is - which is, perhaps, exactly what our toy soldiers do!

    Best wishes,
    Arthur

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  19. Of course wargamista has four syllables whereas wargamer only has three so we don't really need the term to save length as an abbreviation. It was rather like the commonly used abbreviation for my college which was BNC and so took longer to say than Brasenose!

    For Guardian readers there is no Guardianer or fashioner for (dedicated) followers of fashion, which is an equivalent of wargamer.

    I like the sound of it, though, especially when painting Colombian, Spanish or Mexican troops!

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  20. Robert De Angelis,

    I sometimes think that the English language is like a wargamer's collection: something new is always being added ... but very rarely is anything discarded!

    The most recent -ista I have heard of is a Nailista ... who is someone who works in a nail salon!

    English as a world language? Nah! It'll never catch on!

    Todo lo mejor,

    Bob

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  21. Arthur1815,

    You make a very good argument in favour of 'historitician' not being like mortician ... but when I hear the word beautician I think of the rather vapid, over-made-up, blonde pupils I used teach and whose ambition was to become one!

    Having now come across a new -ista (a Nailista … who would work alongside your beautician doing a client’s nails!), I am now waiting to read that Niall Ferguson wants to be known as a Historista. Somehow I think that it would probably make him feel rather young, trendy, and anti-establishment.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  22. Legatus Hedlius,

    Whereas I am in total agreement that creating a word or abbreviation that is longer than the word it replaces is downright silly, I somehow think that if someone from ‘across the pond’ were to pick up the idea it would become common currency in fairly short order. (Our former colonial brethren do seem to have a penchant for using long words – and lots of them – when there is no need to. For example, I once saw a reference to a ‘ferrous friction fastener’. It took a moment or two to realise that they were talking about a nail!)

    As someone who fights the odd Spanish Civil War and South American wargame, in future I might well refer to myself as a wargamista on those occasions.

    All the best,

    Bob

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