Will “Phubbing” Ever Stop? by Jovana Tomic
Do you know what “phubbing” is? Would you be surprised if we told you that you do that all the time, but you are not aware that there is a term for that particular behavior?
Phubbing seems to be a very big problem in communication nowadays and its definition is “the act of snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention”. As a matter of fact, this word has been made up by ad agency MacCann Melbourne in order to promote the Macquarie Dictionary.
Firstly, the problem in communication was detected: it seems that people are using their smartphones more frequently, instead of participating in real-time conversations. Then, the question was asked: If there is a problem, why aren’t we discussing it? The answer was simple: there is no word for this behavior.
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So, a team was formed to create a word. The team consisted of one poet, lexicologist, phonetician, debating champion, cruciverbalist and other authors. The team came up with the word “phubbing” and all its forms; “you have just been phubbed”, “don’t be a phubber” etc. In order to stop phubbing, they have created a website that contains only one page and it is loud and clear – stop phubbing.
The whole campaign was planned with the goal to reinforce the importance of words and to revive print dictionaries. And they have succeeded, the word became popular in the UK, US, Mexico, and Latin America. It is set to conquer Europe also, so grasp the trend and stop phubbing!
Take a look at the short movie that documents the entire campaign from the creation of this word to its spreading across the globe: