Columnist William Safire observed in, “Language: Tattoo regret and apostrophe remorse,“
In Brisbane, Australia, The Sunday Mail warned last year: “Think before you ink. That’s the message skin experts are preaching as ‘tattoo regret’ booms.” It reported that a Queensland athlete – embarrassed about a smiling devil’s face etched on his back – complained in rhyme of suffering “severe tattoo-rue.”
“The regret combining form is found in a lot of current writing,” notes Ann Rubin Wort, a former Times colleague. “Nowadays people are acting more impulsively; thus, regrets aplenty and the resulting need to nullify capricious choices.”
‘Bad ink’ and adult diapers… I think Safire nailed that one.