Thursday, July 12, 2007

New Words!

Well, Boys and Girls, Merriam Webster's Dictionary, the final word on words, has announced their New Official words for 2007.

We have new sports and hobbies, like snowboardcross, speed dating and sudoku, international words that have (ostensibly) become widespread in English usage, like telenovela, Bollywood, and chaebol. (I had never heard or seen the word "chaebol" before today, but apparently enough English speakers are using it somewhere. )

High technology, always a font for new words, has this year brought us DVR, and real-estate-speak brings us viewshed and hardscape

Common Usage among a new generation of english-speakers has brought us crunk, RPG, smackdown, ginormous, and perfect storm. (I may have to do a whole post about the "perfect storm" phenomenon at some later date)

Unfortunately, the "age of terrorism" has in some way or another brought us the next three words: IED, everybody knows what those are, flex-cuffs, the cheap plastic cable-ties that police or military use when they have just arrested or "detained" a very large number of people, and when handcuffs are impractical, and gray literature, which may not be directly related to the current administration, (it looks like it came from the Watergate Era) but Mr. President Bush certainly has generated his share of it.

A bizzare word that I had never heard of, but which is thoroughly useful is nocebo, the opposite of placebo. A nocebo is a harmless substance which is interpreted by a person to have caused a negative effect. For instance, the milk that you had this morning that you thought didn't smell quite right, could still cause you a bellyache, even if it was fine, because of the Nocebo Effect.

The world of food brings us our last two words. Microgreens are the young shoots of a regular salad green, like lettuce or endive (which is pronounced "ON-DEEV", campers)

And the last word...

The Last...

I almost don't want to say it, but the last of the new words in today's post is agnolotti, a round, filled pasta, from the Italian word for "little anuses". I wish I were making this up.


-------Daily Haiku of the Day-------
Please, Chef Boyardee
Elbow Pasta's Fine By Me,
But Not Anuses

P.S. - It gets WORSE! the Wikipedia entry for Agnolotti says that the word "agnolotti" means "Priests' Hats" in Italian. That doesn't speak well for the Italian opinion of their Priests!

Priest's Hat = Little Anus ---I'll let you write your own punchline.

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