Yes, an ism. A noun ending with the suffix that conveys the idea of “a belief in” the root meaning of the noun. Familiar examples: Idealism is the belief or confidence in ideals; realism is the belief and trust in reality; Protestantism is the belief in Protestant religious ideals. So on and so forth.
So this morning I was listening to my favorite call-in radio talk show on WWL radio out of New Orleans. Some caller was lamenting on the condition of the world and our society and its loss of moral and religious foundation. OK, valid points. But he made this assertion: The problem with our culture is that we have given in too much to paganism and abominationism.
Hmmm. Paganism I totally get. The belief in pagan gods has been around since antiquity. But abominationism? My text edit Grammar check underlined that word in red. Why? Maybe because there is no such word? Maybe because it’s a word that doesn’t make much sense? “Abominationism: the belief in abomination.” I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who believed in abominations. I know some who practice abominations. Who commit abominations. Whose profligate lifestyles are living abominations. But it’s just not something people should be believing in?
OK, maybe I’m just not cool. I got to thinking: Maybe I’m too self-righteous in my linguistic expertise–there are some “ism’s” that haven’t been coined yet, but maybe they deserve to be coined. For example, is there any value in the concept of belief in flatulence . . .
Flatulism: the belief in the most natural of natural gasses.
Deflatulism: the belief in expelling the most natural of natural gasses.
Inflatulism: the passing, romantic belief that an instance of flatulence can be captivating.
Preflatulism: the belief in physiological signs that an episode of flatulence is about to occur.
Postflatulism: the belief in physiological signs that an episode of flatulence is over.
Hyperflatulism: Overly-zealous belief in the most natural of natural gasses.
Megaflatulism: Belief in rank, corrosive bowels that emit the foulest, most disgusting odors.
Misflatulationism: Belief in episodes of flatulence that inadvertently produce more than gaseous emissions.
OK, enough fun. Have I made a point? Probably not. But it’s entertaining wordplay.