I like many new things, but I dislike most things “neo”: neocon, neoliberal, etc. are terms that often eviscerate the meaning of the term after the prefix. Neocons are never true conservatives. Neoliberals are damned nearly neocons.
But there are some “neo” words that are useful, and one is “neologism.” Merriam-Webster offers as a second definition “a meaningless word coined by a psychotic,” and I admit I’ve coined my share. Wikipedia offers a definition for use in theology, and I am in no position to dispute that one, either. But in the most typical usage, meaning simply a newly coined word or phrase, “neologism” is a concept subject to clever use and to far-from-clever abuse.
Take “payfor” … please.
These days in Congress, Republicans seem to use it every other breath, apparently to avoid saying what they really mean, which is “a large cut in the social safety net which we demand in exchange for an expenditure that is utterly essential to the continued functioning of the government.” I don’t believe I ever heard of a “payfor” before this year.
As most Americans dislike blackmail, and as most Americans (literally most Americans) like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, I can see why Republicans would do their damnedest to conceal what they’re up to.
But… could they please at least not forcibly violate the English language as they conceal their evil deeds?