Word Spy

22 09 2008

Yet another addition to my sidebar . . . this one tracks the newest additions to the English language and thereby, contra certain logofetishists I could mention, demonstrates that language is a changing, evolving thing.

Sample entries—and I’m too lazy to order them alphabetically—include:

kindergarchy n. Rule or domination by children; the belief that children’s needs and preferences take precedence over those of their parents or other adults.

defriend v. To remove a person from one’s list of friends on a social networking site. Also: de-friend.

Christianese noun. A language or linguistic style that is understood only by, or appeals only to, practicing Christians.

theocon (THEE.oh.kawn; TH as is thin) n. A conservative who believes that religion should play a major role in forming and implementing public policy. Also: theo-con.

Baracknophobia n. Negative feelings about U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama, particularly those based on racism or unfounded rumors. [cf. arachnophobia.]

dark biology (DARK bye.awl.uh.gee) n. Scientific research related to biological weapons.

text literacy n. The ability to read and write competently.

semisomnia n. Mild but chronic exhaustion caused by poor sleep habits. Also: semi-somnia.
—semisomniac n.




3 responses

23 09 2008

kindergarchy = spoilt brat

what’s the difference between text literacy and literacy? why the added word “text”? or is this referring to phone text messages?

23 09 2008

AFAIK, literacy once meant precisely what “text literacy” denotes today. In the intervening years the usage of the term has become so widespread—multilteracies, transliteracy, computer literacy, financial literacy—that a specific modifier had to be assigned to “literacy” in its traditional sense.

23 09 2008

Don Watson, if were dead, would be spinning in his grave.

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