Hyattsvilification Defined

New word created to describe area attitudes about Prince George's County sparks local discussion.

The message began in grave tones. 

"The fight for our identity in the hearts and minds of the Washington Metro Region has new entered a new level of battlefield," read an alert posted to the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation's Facebook page

The cause of this consternation? The word Hyattsvilification. It is a new neologism, the combination of Hyattsville and vilification, published in the Washington Posts' Style Invitational Report on July 12. The popular language feature invited readers to create new words for some small prizes. 

Hyattsvilification, submitted by former Greenbelt resident David Smith, won second place honors in the contest. The word defines "the reflexive dismissal of anything located in Prince George's County."

"This synechdoche…is another form of both the apotheosis and arrival of the Hyattsville renaissance as the cutting edge of Prince George's County's revitalization and  redevelopment," continued the Hyattsville CDC Facebook message. "We remain the target for every Wash. Post comment section slur that can be leveled by an insecure, resentful chorus of narrow-minded haters."

Hyattsville CDC President Stuart Eisenberg, the author of the dramatic Facebook post, explained that he was lightheartedly trying to draw local attention to the new term. According to him, the term could prove useful to describe regional attitudes about Hyattsville and Prince George's County as a whole. 

"It was some excellent little wordplay," said Eisenberg in an interview. "It was an excellent portrayal of the Prince George's County politics as reported in the Post."

Eisenberg was critical of the Washington Post's coverage of county and local issues, noting that crimes occurring in unincorporated areas surrounding Hyattsville are often inaccurately identified in stories. 

"I'm not quire sure how if somebody who lives in Landover or lives in Seabrook can be identified as a Hyattsville man," said Eisenberg. "I'm not sure how Hyattsville fits into the profile of the story."

Eisenberg also singled out commenters on local news websites for perpetuating Hyattsvilification. A recent Washington Post story on young families moving into Hyattsville drew a barrage of borderline-to-flagrantly racist comments from readers, which in turn sparked local discussions of the area's representation in the media. 

HyattsvilleCouldBeBetter July 20, 2012 at 07:47 PM
It's all about racism and snobbery. If I'm correct, DC has had the same stigma for decades and has only recently been recognized as a thriving central city. In order for Hyattsville to overcome this little problem, it needs to actively re-brand itself and actively promote development. Another problem is West Hyattsville. It looks horrific from the elevated metro. Every time someone rides through West Hyattsville on the metro they think, "Wow, what a $#!% hole." Also, it would totally help if they renamed PG Plaza to something less PG oriented. Another solution would be to rename Hyattsville to differentiate it from the designated zip code. I recommend naming it "Asgard" because that would be awesome!!! Seriously, if Hyattsville want's to be great, they have to start doing great things. We, as a community, have to start pooling our resources to build a place that's better than everywhere else. We could build a trolly that runs between PG plaza and the Arts district along Queensbury rode. We could subsidize affordable housing for good looking people and gays. We could legalize marijuana + rename to Hempsville. We could landscape vacant lots. We could host regional swap meets and antique road shows. We could all pitch in and buy neighborhood windmills. Perhaps we should skip a couple years of road rehabilitation and do something unique with the savings.
Andre Commentson July 20, 2012 at 08:16 PM
As soon as the council and mayor stop squabbling and trying to promote their own personal agendas we will have a city we could call Asgard or something awesome like that. Until the idiots who get elected in this town start taking responsibility as a public servant then we will have a @#$&@ hole town.
HyattsvilleCouldBeBetter July 20, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Well, when me and all my Hyattsville collaborators sweep the next election, it won't matter who's sitting in that seat today. j/k Honestly, the current counsel seems pretty open to positive change, they just need ideas. They're hearts are in the right place. They always spend 100,000 dollars or so on some useless study to make recommendations for what to improve. How about using that money to hire a permanent director of PR/Activities. A truly talented PR could fix the public image Hyattsville faces and organize some events that draw trendy people from the surrounding areas. Maybe they already have one of those, but they aren't doing a good job. The best PR that Hyattsville gets is ads on the metro for Post Park and EYA.


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