Let’s get one thing straight from the outset – Swapportunity is not a recognised word. But is its status about to change?
Swapportunity’s current emergence is an advertising executive’s dream. The word features in an American commercial for yoghurt company Yoplait. The ad revolves around an earnest boy taking part in a spelling bee and shows his horror when he is asked to spell the word ‘Swapportunity’. His ire is not helped when he is told that it is defined as “The opportunity to swap a higher calorie snack for a delicious Yoplait Light”. Affronted, he protests that it is not a real word. It’s very funny, and worth a look:
Clearly, swapportunity will not catch on as a genuine word if its definition is tied up with low calorie yoghurts. But it does have a chance as a more generic word, meaning the opportunity to swap something.
Now I know that this isn’t a yawning chasm of meaning crying out for a word to encapsulate it. But there is evidence that it is being used. An Atlanta fashion event, The Ultimate Swapportunity, has just taken place. Musician website The Gear Page has discussed using it to create a market for musicians to trade instruments. And there are isolated examples from the last couple of years to show that this linguistic innovation has been on the margins, with a Forbes piece about corporate bonds being the most high brow.
So while swapportunity will not be appearing in dictionaries in the next few weeks, I think it has a chance of not only growing online but also being used at trading events. I am sure it is an opportunity it would not want to swap.