August 01, 2002

True pedants hate it when words are coined that combine a Greek and a Latin root rather than two roots from the same language. According to them, an 'automobile' should either be an 'ipsimobile' (all Latin) or an 'autokineton' (all Greek), and the same goes for other hybrids such as 'homosexual' and 'heterosexual'.

Daily Pundit uses the Anglo-Greek hybrid 'crapocracy' to describe the Saudi regime. Actually he calls it a "porkulent royal crapocracy", which is even better. The term is not quite original. Google gives three hits. I hate to quote Vladimir Posner, but in this Vanity Fair article, he is quoted as saying that 'dermocracy' is a Russo-Greek pun, and translates it as "crapocracy".

Pedants will be glad to know that an all-Greek word for rule by the excremental elements of the state is easy enough to find: 'scatocracy'. Some Greek and Latin words have nominative (subject) forms that differ quite a bit from the other forms. For example, the Latin word for 'king' is rex, as in Tyrannosaurus rex, but the other forms all begin with reg-: regis ('of a king'), regum ('of kings'), regi ('to or for a king'), regibus ('to or for kings'), and so on. The ancient Greek word for 'sh*t' is even odder than most. The stem is skat- as in 'scatology', but the nominative, which is also the dictionary form, is skôr. Since learning that in grad school about 15 years ago, I've much preferred Heath bars when struck with the urge to consume a lumpy brown chocolate-covered toffee candy.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at August 01, 2002 11:51 PM

Remember the talking horses from Gulliver's Travels?

Hippos is the Greek fragment representing horse
Cracy is the Greek fragment representing government

Hippos-ocracy = government by horse.


The Saudi government is a hypocracy, the use of hypocrisy as the fundamental principles of your government.

Posted by: Laurence Simon on August 2, 2002 10:24 AM

Would the sovereign of a crapocracy properly be denominted as Feces Rex? And didn't Leo Strauss write a book on this anyhow?

Posted by: Walter Kraslow on August 2, 2002 01:17 PM

And then of course there's 'kakistocracy'. I myself lived in Massachusetts in the days of the Dukakistocracy.

Posted by: Bill Woods on August 2, 2002 03:11 PM

I shall never mention the House of Saud without the word "slave" appearing in the same sentence. The Confederate States of Arabia are slaveocrats, and the State Dept. has been enforcing Dred Scott against runaway American slave-girls."Shall I not visitfor these things? saith the Lord.Shall not my soul be avenged on a nation such as this?"

Posted by: Frederick Douglass on August 3, 2002 07:00 PM