October 31, 2006

Jacquie 'Starkish' Brown

Jacquie Brown said "starkish" on Campbell Live tonight, or more precisely: "Starkish it isn't."


This sent in to us today from a customer of Centre of Gravity in downtown Auckland, who spotted this rather starkish coffee.

October 30, 2006


The debate continues. Should starkish be listed on internet encyclopedia site wikipedia? Sent into us earlier today was a link to the starkish page on wikipedia, which is currently being considered for deletion.

Currently posted on wikipedia for starkish is as follows:
'Starkish' Is more than just a word, it is on its way to becoming a cultural movement. It has emerged as a counter-cultural response to a perceived flood of visual, verbal and pop-cultural dross within urban societal frameworks.

Starkish describes various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is stripped of its unnescessary parts, down to its most fundamental features and core self expression. It has been used to describe the comedy/drama film Junebug, works of art from New Zealand artist Dick Frizzell and fashion from Karen Walker.

There is heated debated as to who first coined this term, as no one is entirely certain as to who first used it, or what the exact definition of it is. Many popular artists and fashion labels across Australia and New Zealand have been credited with coining "Starkish", which they have used the word in the popular context that "starkish" is "tasteful" and "stylish" almost bordering on "minimalism".

The term "starkish" can also refer to anything or anyone that has been rendered starkish or expressed in a manner that is considered starkish.
Is the word merely a word, or because of its increased use in society, should it be allowed on wikipedia to document the birth of a possibly new cultural movement?

Word use.

Thanks to a keen blogger for this fabulous monday starkism.

"Shall I compare thee to a minimalist day.
Thou art more starkish and stylistically discerning."


Where do new words come from? This article from MED Magazine helps explain the process in which new words are adopted into everyday language.

“When we feel the lack of a word to express our meaning, there are a number of options available to us. The method most frequently used is affixation - the adding of a prefix, a suffix or both to an existing word to create a longer word that gets our meaning across. This comes naturally to us all from a very early age. It was through affixation that we got the adjective unbelievable. Somebody took the verb believe, added the suffix -able to create the adjective believable and then added the prefix un- to get unbelievable. It filled a gap that was felt in the lexicon and was adopted by others, becoming a common word in the language. Startlingly few new words (or neologisms) are created entirely from scratch, the overwhelming majority are created by recycling old words in this way.”

By this article, it could be said that "starkish" is an affixation of the word "stark" which according the the Oxford Dictionary means: "devoid of any qualifications or disguise or adornment: 'the blunt truth'; 'the crude facts'.

This in mind, would the correct definition of starkish be "anyone or anything exhibiting a sense of good proportion and taste but with all the 'crap' cut out"? Just leaving/showing the bare essentials necessary to exhibite a sense of good proportion and taste.

October 28, 2006

More than a word.


What is it? There has been a lot of recent buzz about this new word 'starkish' in New Zealand. The recent surge in popularity of the word has seen it used by the media, DJs and bands, and as of now, it even has a site dedicated to finding out exactly what exactly 'starkish' is.

Currently there is a lot of confusion to what it means. Whether it is a new slang word adopted by popular culture or if it has emerged as a movement (like that of 'minimalism'). However, how did this term come about? After a quick check on Urban Dictionary this meaning was found:

"starkish. adj. 'Anyone or anything exhibiting a sense of good proportion and taste.'"

Examples of the proper use of the word found on the site included: "Wow, you're looking starkish tonight." "Snapped up someone Starkish yet?" "Yeah, she is really starkish."

This in mind, who qualifies (or what for that matter) as being "starkish"? Does Paris Hilton qualify as starkish? One could argue no, as she definitely doesn't "exhibiting a sense of taste".

Not only has the word appeared in newspapers such as The New Zealand Hearld and Sunday Star-Times, but also on TV One's Breakfast show. Where it was used to describe comedy/drama film Junebug. It also has been found being used around Auckland city. There have been sightings of the word being used around one of Auckland's 'trendy' suburbs, Ponsonby, along with other sightings High Street and Parnell.

Are we witnessing a neologism or much more, the growth of a movement within our pop-cultural sphere?

This site was created to provide an open debate on "starkish" if you love it or hate it, or never even heard of it! Your thoughts, sightings and own personal variations are welcomed.