Saturday, August 12, 2006

Play and work

Smallpox and the like may have been made extinct in the world, but every epoch spawns its own diseases and the contemporary age is no exception in this regard. Some of the following illnesses are still neologisms and have yet to reach the dictionary, but once coined, they do stand a chance of acceptance. The point at issue is that each word represents an aspect of contemporary life.

The flexecutive is the executive who works flexible hours. The first coinage to emerge from the trend of working at flexible hours was ‘flexitime’ which was followed by ‘flexecutive’, a blend of flexitime and executive. The ‘homepreneur’, an ‘entrepreneur’ working from ‘home’, soon took birth leading to the ‘office-free’ homepreneur.

Working from home should have led to more stress-free souls but, unfortunately, it gave birth to the ‘teleworkaholic syndrome’, a neologism coined to describe the tendency of some home-based employees to overwork. And, the people who work away from home have their own woes if their workload is not enough. They complain of a lack of challenge and stimulation at work and begin to suffer from ill health and depression. Psychologists have labelled this set of symptoms ‘underload syndrome’.

With the phenomenal growth of the media, one is bombarded with information all the time and this can lead to IFS or ‘information fatigue syndrome’. Discovered by Dr David Lewis, a psychologist, in 1996, IFS is a direct result of the information revolution and its symptoms might include the paralysis of the analytical capacity and constant searches for more information.