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New word alert: Linsanity

Linsanity: (n.) The state of excitement surrounding basketball phenom Jeremy Lin — a point guard for the New York Knicks, the NBA’s first Chinese-American player, and a gift to sports headline writers everywhere.

Jeremy Lin Headlines

Lin signed with the Knicks December 27 and emerged in early February with a series of electrifying performances. By coincidence, Lin is a name that lends itself well to puns, with “Linsanity” being one of the most obvious.

So who coined the word Linsanity? Most the major sports media sites I checked started using “Linsanity” in mid-February. The earliest reference I could find online was posted late February 4 by the New York Daily News. The News published a game story with the headline, “It’s Lin-sanity! Knicks score win over Nets.”

But the term has been around longer than that. As Deadspin reports, a Lin fan named Andrew Slayton registered “linsanity.com” on July 17, 2010. He’s now using the site to sell merchandise.

Meanwhile, the headlines keep coming. One of the latest, courtesy of the New York Post: “White House confirms Obama going Linsane.”

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Language, Words

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