I will explain what I think the differences are, but before that, I would like to say this launches a several post “portmanteau” series. Portmanteau is a very useful word in this era of technology and its leaps and bounds. After all, hybrid words are popping up as fast as writers can blog them, so the Oxford English Dictionary’s explanation of a portmanteau as “a repository or mixture of a number of disparate ideas, arguments, etc.” makes it a very handy word.
A handy example of a portmanteau is the word “webinar.” A webinar is a seminar conducted virtually over the internet using technology tools that allow live interaction.
What I find amusing about the definitions of these types of words is how their life spans are explained in years. The length of time The Odyssey has been around, derived from Odysseus’ name, is about 3,000 years, while the word “screencast,” according to Wikipedia “dates from “as early as 1994.” I am happy to learn all these new words, but I am a little scared that a word that is 15 years old is considered, well, old. That means there are hundreds and hundreds of these words out there for me to learn! Will I ever catch up?
Here are Wikipedia definitions of today’s featured portmanteau’s:
A webisode is simply a web episode – collectively it is part of a web series, a form of new medium called web television that characteristically features a dramatic, serial storyline, where the primary method of viewership is streaming online over the Internet. While there is no set standard for length, most webisodes are relatively short, ranging from 4–15 minutes in length
A screencast is a digital recording of computer screen output, also known as a video screen capture, often containing audio narration. Although the term screencast dates from 2004, products such as Lotus ScreenCam were used as early as 1994Just as a screenshot is a picture of a user’s screen, a screencast is essentially a movie of the changes over time that a user sees on his monitor.