This word, which had turned up in a client’s document – written in German it should be said – is my submission for ghastly word of the year. The “pharmerging” markets are those developing countries where the consumption of pharmaceuticals is rocketing. The USA and Europe are the biggest markets, but they are not far from saturation. The big pharmaceutical companies are looking for countries where they can expect to sell hundred tablets in a few years’ time for every one sold today.
My client had the decency to put “pharmerging” in inverted commas and to speak about “so-called” pharmerging. A little research on Google soon tells me that the word is known, and is precisely relevant to my client’s field, so I am not blaming them. I almost don’t blame the twisted brain that thought up the idea. But I do blame the people who have had the bad taste to adopt it as a buzzword, presumably in the belief that it makes them look as if they have esoteric marketing knowledge.
I’m not actually sure when it first came into circulation, so it may not really be this year’s word, but this is the first time I have come across it. I’m willing to bet that I won’t come across anything else with such low linguistic sensitivity this year, so there you have it: my vote in 2010 goes to “pharmerging” as the ugliest word of the year.