The Proliferation of –ists

Of late, I have noticed this proliferation of the suffix –ist added to a verb. I have seen it in popular ads of anti-ageing creams (regenerist), blog names (imaginationist), world music groups (the dewarists), art (gallerist) among other instances. There was a time when –ism was quite popular giving birth to so many twentieth century art and writing movements—naturalism, realism, surrealism, dadaism, impressionism, post-impressionism, expressionism, post-expressionism, modernism, post-modernism, feminism, marxism, communism, and so on. And the practitioners of these –isms were the respective –ists. However, the -ists that are now taking over our commerce-driven world does not pretend to posses such gravitas. (You cannot trace regenerism, imaginism, dewarism or gallerism to a movement for instance.) It’s –ist for –ist sake, a catchy name or slogan now with a high recall value. A name that is probably as cut off from an origin as we are from the lives of early 20th century artists or writers. A name that is coined as it were in a hurry by exhausted overworked copywriters under the harsh glare of deadlines.

About the photo: Taken in the bright Pondicherry sun with the Diana Mini using expired Fujifilm Sensia 400. Head over to Lomography India for a holistic idea about lomography, photography and more.

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