"Overvolved" – what?

Companies (and their PR and Advertising firms) coin new words all the time. Sometimes, they combine two or more words to make a new one (crispalicious), sometimes they create a new, fanciful term (iPod), and sometimes they invent a new meaning for an existing term (“I’m gelling” “You are so NOT gellin’. “) Sometimes those words are accepted into the common vocabulary, and sometimes not.

The latest attempt at coining a word comes from Brammo with the advent of the term: Overvolved.

From the spec sheet:

The Enertia TTR started as the production Enertia with its extruded aluminum frame rails, distinctive flowing bodywork, and unique battery mounting system as the basis. Key components were then “overvolved” where necessary for the demands of racing and super-high performance. “Overvolved” is a way of thinking at Brammo that will be applied for future product offerings.

In context, overvolved, then, seems to be a synonym of “beefing up.” So why not just say that key components were beefed up, or reinforced, or strengthened? Maybe it means something more.

Brammofan’s Theory of Overlution

In order to understand the meaning of overvolved, we have to remember that Brammo CEO, Craig Bramscher, grew up in the great state of Kansas, home of Fred Phelps (no, I will not link to his page… this is a family-oriented blog and you can google it yourself) and a “spirited” debate on evolution.

Brammofan is also a son of Kansas (but if you call me that, you’d better be smiling) so he is in a great position to get inside the mind of Bramscher and divine the answer to the question: Overvolved–what were you thinking??!!

Bramscher, who now calls Ashland, Oregon, his home, must be thinking something similar to what goes through my head when people ask me, “where did you grow up?” My answer: “Kansas, but not Topeka, or the Flint Hills or Liberal (I know, irony!). I’m from the Greater Kansas City area. It’s practically Missouri.” This usually brings its own level of suspicion and amusement, but the point is — many of the Greater Kansas City folks from the Kansas side of the line look at the rest of the state as it debates whether Darwin was the devil, as a bit of an embarrassment. Like your crazy Uncle Jack. Or like Jimmy Carter’s brother Billy. Or Jeb’s brother George.

So my theory of where this new word comes from is: repudiation. Bramscher may hail from Kansas. He may have been raised with all those wholesome, midwestern values. He may have been ingrained with that Protestant work ethic. Heck, he may even have won the game for the Shawnee Mission South Raiders during that crucial game back in 1978. But I can’t imagine him using “overvolved” without seeing him wink.

Overvolved is about survival of the fittest. It’s about adaptation. It’s about mutation. Okay, maybe not about mutation but the drift is: this species is going to survive because it’s already dominant in its role as the cool commuter. Now, just watch it adapt to new and more challenging environments.

Overvolved. It’s like evolution. Except it’s not debateable.

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