Turntablists are a passionate bunch. The sheer volume of online rucks I’ve witnessed (and hosted via skratchworx) over the years about the finer points of scratch gear has been staggering. But this same bunch, who would previously issue death threats because you dared to use anything but Technics or 44-7s has discovered the joys of super cheap plastic portable turntables… you know that don’t have direct drive motors, s-arms, or give any kind of crap about needle shape or cartridge angle. Oh the irony.

And this thing has a name, and that name is portablism. Or is that portablism? Allow me to explain.

A portable turntable

Portable. Turntable.

Two distinct words, pronounced in unquestionably different ways. But let’s just throw an “ism” shaped spanner into the linguistic works:

Portablism. Turntablism. 

And now you see the conundrum. Oh you don’t? It reads just fine? This will make it clearer:

Portable—ism: Phonetically, this makes a lot of sense.

Por—tablism: This however is more representative of the idea.

Up until today, I had always used the latter. But then my good buddy Mojaxx at DJ City put out his latest video about portablistic developments, I hadn’t heard anyone refer to portable-ism before. But then again, the online world is first and foremost a written thing, and my turntablist tendencies decided on a correct pronunciation for this new portmanteau based only on the way turntablism is pronounced.

While writing this however, a third variant struck me, which knowing my luck is how everyone says this anyway:

Porta–blism: Not wildly different to portable-ism, just a tad snappier.

Portablism, portablism, or portablism? You decide 1

Actual industry conversations merged into one: “Portawhat? So you can go outside to do the same thing, but not as good as you did inside? And you don’t even always go outside? And you probably do it next to full-sized turntables anyway? Explain this to me again…”

So… which is it?

Given the recent birth of this word, we’re in a unique place to decide the future pronunciation. Because if we don’t people, it’ll be a bloodbath, with opposing tribes essentially doing the same thing but claiming it’s entirely different. “Portablists are fake” said one portablist. “Those portablists and portablists think they’re so special but they’re just elitist dicks” said another portablist, which journalistically makes no sense whatsoever in the written word. Help me out here before it gets messy.

So here’s a poll to help:

Personally, I’d rather it was called funtablism. That’s a more accurate description, and I’m pretty sure there’s only one way to say that.

DJWORX — fearless journalists tackling the important issues in the DJ world. Or some shit like that.


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