Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Words Needed: Translingual Euphoria

The assignation of great (but often unjustified or exaggerated) acclaim to a work in regions whose lingua franca differs from that used in the work.

On an individual level, this phenomenon is rooted in the subconscious sensation of immersion caused by a lengthy period of following an alien dialect (a phenomenon exploited to considerable effect in works such as A Clockwork Orange and Disco Pigs). This compelling, almost trance-like sensation can be termed individual translingual euphoria*.

Cultural translingual euphoria* occurs when the above is the catalyst for a  word-of-mouth campaign. Said campaign may begin as the well-minded efforts of individuals to share a positive (likely unrecognized) experience of individual translingual euphoria*; this phase often quickly mutates into an aggressive example of what game theorists call Informational Cascade. Cultural translingual euphoria* spreads quickly due to its canny reliance on the rule that if person (A) likes something eclectic/foreign, person (B) must also like it or be seen as a rube/bigot. Person (B), having liked the work, is then encouraged to share it with further persons, gaining in status both by being the source of others' cosmopolitan edification and by weeding out closet rubes/bigots in the community.

SEE ALSO: Kite Runner, The; Ring < Ringu; Stanford prison experiment; Guillermo del Toro.

* Terms used are placeholders until a less unwieldly word is provided.

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