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Mociology

This word has gained some public attention following its use in the title of a conference in London on 7 November 2005 organised by the Royal Society of Arts: Mobile technology and culture change: how mociology is changing the way we live.

The introduction to the conference described it in some detail. It seems that mociology is the study of the innovative ways people use their mobile phones or wireless systems in daily life. Examples given including buying concert tickets by phone or having medical information about your diabetic condition sent to you the same way.

It has been described as the sociology of the mobile lifestyle, which seems to be the genesis of the word (mobile + sociology), though the coinage is unprepossessing (the blending suggests that the c is pronounced as an s). It is said to have been invented by Ralph Simon of the Mobilium Group of Los Angeles and London, whose fertile mind has also created the term mocio-economics, described as “the underlying economics that drives the fast emergence of mobile entertainment revenues and economics”.

The same text described mociology as a “new and emerging science”, which seems to be a PR overstatement of a particularly egregious sort. It is notable that the word has so far appeared in only one newspaper that I can trace, though bloggers have reported on it.

It will be interesting to see if it catches on.

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 3 Dec. 2005

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The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

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This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/turnsofphrase/tp-moc1.htm
Last modified: 3 December 2005.