A single clever word or phrase can reshape how people think about an issue. A just-launched site called WordSmyte intends to take advantage of this phenomenon — and it’s focused on things that people hate.
So, maybe this site will help people articulate and spread the word about things that suck — and make the world a better place.
Here’s how it works. First, you write a definition of the concept you’re trying to describe, with the prompt “I really hate it when . . . “. Then, you think of a possible word to describe it. Submit your definition and word, and other users can vote on your definition or propose their own. It’s a more interactive sort of Urban Dictionary, with a more anti-suck purpose.
For example, one WordSmyte user submitted this definition: “completely unnecessary words created to describe things done in twitter. (e.g. twayments, tweeps, twavel, etc.).” Answers on the site already include “Tword” and “twatter.”
Creator Paul McKellar came up with the idea after thinking through the age-old concept that humans interpret information based on how it is framed. WordSmyte, he says, is just of a fun side project — he’s not expecting it to make money. However, he has some experience tapping into visceral human emotions. He created a site called SocialMoth years ago that let people anonymously share their thoughts in a group, then turned it into an application on Facebook when the social network launched its platform in 2007. Then later sold the application to dating and Facebook app network SpeedDate.
A Facebook app for WordSmyte isn’t planned, but maybe its users will generate some meaningful words that get out into the public lexicon.