Monday, March 28, 2011

What’s in a Word?

Cricket McRae
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Writers love words. Readers love words. There are many of us who actually see words when we think. (Do you?) And new words continually crop up that reflect changes in technology and culture. There was a story on the news just last week about the recent addition of “LOL” and “OMG” to the Oxford English Dictionary.
Along with “taquito”.
Several new terms have recently come to my attention. At least they’re new to me. Now, it’s possible that I’m woefully behind the times, unaware of current cultural touchstones simply because I’m spending the majority of my time locked away in a basement office. Have you heard of these? Do you use them regularly?
Decruitment: Euphemism for laying off employees.
Gastrosexuals: Men who cook as a hobby, aren’t afraid to wear an apron, and often use their cooking skills to impress friends and potential partners.
Noughties: A reference to the years between 2000 and 2009, like the “thirties”, “sixties”, etc.
Notspot: An area where there is no or only very slow Internet access.
Recessionista: Someone who dresses with great style on a tight budget.
Spinnish: The language used when trying to present not-so-favorable information in a favorable light. This came up in relation to the idea of “kinetic military action”.
Vook: A combination of video, text, images and social streams in an electronic book.
Wordle (tm): At first I heard this in reference to a word cloud or text cloud, but it turned out to be a tool used to create a text cloud. I’ve heard of writers plugging in chunks of their prose to see what words they overuse (the most frequently used words appear larger in the text cloud).
What new terms have you encountered lately? Any favorites?

6 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

These are great! Wordle is something I've used before, but the rest are new to me. :) Gastrosexual and notspot--ha!

Kathleen Ernst said...

Do you really see words when you write? I've never experienced that. Almost all of the words you list are new to me. Mayhap I spend too much time thinking about the past...

Cricket McRae said...

Elizabeth, I think you introduced me to Wordle first!

Mayhap -- love it, Kathleen! I do sometimes think in words. For example if you say "horse" then some people see an image of a horse in their mind -- I do, too, but usually after the word itself pops into my brain. Guess that's kind of weird, huh. ; )

Alan Orloff said...

Those are some great words. And (almost) all new to me! I like making up my own words, too (and sometimes I like to use the word verification words. Makes me feel like an exclator).

Darrell James said...

Cricket, your post informs me that that it is me who is "woefully behind the times". I've never heard any of them.

I don't see words at all as part of thought either (an interesting concept), I only think in pictures.

Thanks for bringing me into the 21st century (almost!)

Cricket McRae said...

Alan, making up words is so much fun -- even if it makes editors roll their eyes. You are a true exclator indeed.

Darrell, at least you made it to the noughties...