Tuesday, September 29, 2015

More from the OED (“It pays to increase your word power.”)

A few weeks back, I blogged about the choice word Masshole getting the nod from the Oxford English dictionary. Nothing we don’t deserve,of course. But I wanted to demonstrate that I’m not so massholishly self-absorbed that I couldn’t give a nod to the other words that are in the OED as of June 2015.

So here goes.

I have a reasonably good vocabulary, but as I started down the OED list, my word wealth wasn’t looking too promising.

Maybe I should have known that an
Antikythera mechanism was used by the ancient Greeks to predict the next eclipse and schedule the next Olympics. But I didn’t. I pretty much struck out on all the “a’s”: arré? audax? autotune?

Oh, you could look it up. Which I did for the a’s. But the list is long, and I’ll never use any of these words, anyway.

Although I’d never heard the lead “b” word, I do like backronym, which is kind of an acronym in reverse. As in Marvelously Over Excellent could be a backronym for MOE.

Some of the “b” words made me wonder. Birdhouse wasn’t a recognized word up until now? Nor was boiler room? And what’s so special about blue star? I mean, blue I know, and star.But blue star?


I didn’t have to look it up to know that I like the word carcade, even though the only carcades I’ve been in have been the ones from the church to the cemetery. But why would cluster be a new word, unless they’re avoiding the accompanying second part – the luscious f-word – which has certainly come into wider usage in the past decade or so. (I do recognize that many of us shorten it to cluster.)

Crowdfund. Declutter, Dog whistle. Downtick.

All words I use. (Especially dog whistle, which I have often used to describe what a woman’s voice sounds like in the workplace. Only a few ears, I have said, are attuned to it.)

Although my drumbling days are well behind me, I like drumble – drunken mumble.

Sorry I bothered with fap fap fap. (Jerking off.) And what am I missing with go fish?

Gunna makes the list, but where’s gonna? I must already be in the OED, but I’m not gonna check. Too lazy.

On the ass front, half-ass and hard-arse both make the list. I approve.

Hard launch is on the list, but no soft launch. Maybe hard launch made it because it’s always more fun to get a product out the door with a lot of fanfare. Of course, a hard product launch (money spent, and all that) raises expectations about product success. Sometimes it’s just as well to sneak a product out the door.

Hot mess is now made official. As is kryptonite. (What took them so long?)

I’m kind of meh about meh now being in the OED. And what’s new and fresh about North Korean and South Korean? Meh…

SCOTUS and FLOTUS have joined POTUS, by the way.

I don’t drink coffee, which may be why roastery sounds so darned pretentious.

Seachanger and self-immolate are right next to each other on the list. This has a certain logic. I’ve certainly seen it plenty of times in business that yesterday’s seachanger turns into tomorrow’s flaming out self-immolator. (Never the reverse, I’m afraid.)

Shirtfront seems a bit quaint and old-timey. (I may be missing something here. For all I know, it’s another word for fap.) But I do like some of the s-words: shitshow, shizzle, skort, smash-mouth.

Tea partier is on the list. Now that it’s a recognized word, maybe they can just fade away.

Tweet, twerk, twitterati. Got it.

But what’s uncanny valley?

Oh, no. It’s where the animatronic figures start passing for human. Gulp! (But can they twerk?)

Yarn bombing sounds like fun, but I’m probably too much of a wuss to actually do it.

In a nod to us oldies,
young at heart makes the cut. (Note to self: never, ever, ever let anyone use these words to describe me. I’ve always been more of the old soul type.)

The list ends with zef, South African for common, but not so common that I’ve ever heard it.

Vocabulary lesson’s over. Go forth and tweet away. (No fapping, please. At least not in public.)

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