New denigrations for dastardly drivers
AIG Hawaii customers have some strong words for bad Hawaii drivers.
Pickparkers, cutterbugs and accelligators, you should all be ashamed of yourselves and clean up your act.
Pickparkers steal your parking space - the space you were patiently waiting for until they darted into it.
Cutterbugs are the cutoff drivers, jumping from lane to lane like a bug.
Accelligators incessantly yak on a cell phone while tailgating you.
At the beginning of the year, AIG Hawaii invited visitors to its Web site to create words describing unsafe, irritating or other habits relating to driving.
It received 700 responses. "We were surprised at how many hits we got, and how many submittals we had ... it wasn't like we were driving people to our Web site, it just sort of happened," said Robin Campaniano, AIG Hawaii president and chief executive officer.
The word "sniglets" never came up during the planning. In fact, Campaniano sounded puzzled by the word. Sniglets were popularized by "Not Necessarily the News" writer and cast member Rich Hall in the 1980s. They are neologisms, or, new words. According to the AlphaDictionary Web site, sniglets are words that should appear in dictionaries, but don't.
For whatever reason, the Hall word most memorable to your columnist is, "cheedle," the orange residue left on one's fingers after eating Cheetos.
AIG Hawaii is still accepting submissions online and the words make for fun moments at company staff meetings.
"At first it was more of a driver courtesy issue and as it caught on ... it became more of a traffic safety issue - and that's what we're supposed to be about," Campaniano said.
The company is extending the momentum with a campaign called, "Drive Safe, Local Style." People are invited to submit ideas online and the company soon may seek video entries.
"My devious intent is to see whether we can get people thinking about driving habits, and if we can, I wonder if we can influence behavior," he said.
The erosion of the aloha spirit on the road is of great concern, not just for the rude factor, but because some habits can cause crashes. "I don't see the shakas anymore," he said.
It's hard to imagine sending a shaka to that punk sending blasting bass beats reverberating through your body from a couple cars away. The word miscreant comes to mind, but that is already in the dictionary.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org