Planet Preschool

Brave New Words

Just as media evolves, so does the language we use to describe it.  This past year I was introduced to a variety of new and unfortunate words such as “transmedia,” ...
December 8, 2009

Just as media evolves, so does the language we use to describe it.  This past year I was introduced to a variety of new and unfortunate words such as “transmedia,” “tweet” and “ning,” none of which I like but all of which I have used.

I consider myself to be more of a word person than an image person.  Some words annoy me to the point of causing me actual physical pain and discomfort.  Among these are “edutainment,” “speed pitching” and, worst of all, “blog.”

But this week, rather than just complaining about other people’s words, I have taken the liberty of creating a few of my own.  My hope is that these words will fill in some gaps I have noticed in our kids’ TV lexicon.  I hope these new words will be helpful and I invite you all to use them.

NEW WORD:  License Pea

DEFINITION:  The small amount of money that show makers receive from broadcasters for their preschool shows.

PROPER USAGE:  Does that license pea cover all of the US or just the blue states?

NEW WORD:  Canadometry

DEFINITION:  The science of figuring out how to finance a show in Canada.

PROPER USAGE:  According to our lawyers, we can make the Canadometry work if we animate in the Yukon using a team of bilingual French sled dogs.


DEFINITION:  Someone in the kids’ TV industry who is simultaneously your friend and your foe.

PROPER USAGE:  I ran into my old froes from Sesame Workshop at KidScreen Summit.

NEW WORD:  Stall Waiting

DEFINITION:  The long and awkward interval on a conference call before all of the members have arrived.

PROPER USAGE:  We were on stall waiting for fifteen minutes talking about the weather in Bangalore.

NEW WORD:  Curriculate

DEFINITION:  The European practice of trying to add a curriculum to a preschool show after it has already been produced so that a US broadcaster might acquire it.

PROPER USAGE:  Ve tried to curriculate but ze PBS saw right through our rouze and, vell,zey passed.

NEW WORD:  Kiddy Litter

DEFINITION:  The stack of papers, bibles, DVDs and business cards that you leave in a hotel room at the end of any children’s media conference.

PROPER USAGE:  I felt bad for the chambermaid because I left a huge pile of kiddy litter in my room after MIPCOM.


DEFINITION:  A preschool show that is based on a toy.

PROPER USAGE:  We have six months to make 52 episodes of our new preschool shoy for Discovery/Hasbro.

NEW WORD:  Disno

DEFINITION:  A completely non-negotiable “no.”

PROPER USAGE:  When we asked if we could keep any of our rights they just said, “Disno.”

NEW WORD:  Progeny Ratings

DEFINITION:  The disproportionate value that some network executives place on their own kids’ reactions to a pilot.

PROPER USAGE:  She passed on my preschool show because it had low progeny ratings with little Gregory.

So, those are my new words for these new times.  If any of you have additional words you’d like to add, I encourage you to include them in the little comments box below.

All my best,


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