7:20 a.m. August 15, 2012

A scribble

Merriam-Webster released its annual list of (not so) neologisms that it's officially adding the lexicon. Thanks, Merriam-Webster! Now I can no longer gripe about "man cave," I just have to toe the line and say it with a straight face like everybody else. But anyway. This list is actually quite vibrant: f-bomb, game changer, mash-up, bucket list, aha moment, systemic risk, sexting. What about a rundown of how each of these words resonates/has a corollary/is encoded within the 2012 presidential race? http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/14/us/new-dictionary-words/index.html

Back channel chatter

  1. I'm beginning to think Merriam-Webster does this every year to remind people that Merriam-Webster exists. Every year it's the fluff news story that write itself - official people acknowledging slang is always funny, I guess.

  2. Merriam-Webster should just start slipping the names of death-metal bands into these lists every year, just to see if anyone is paying attention: gorguts, acephalix, darkthrone.

  3. Where are the swears? WHERE?

    I wonder how long it takes a phrase to make it from the internet to the dictionary. I think 'commentard' (which we may or may not have coined at The Register) is on track for 2014 inclusion. Are there any really grievous omissions from Urban Dictionary?

    Rundown good idea yes.

  4. (I think probably we did at the same time as several other people, you know like how the British Dennis the Menace and the US Dennis the Menace were both drawn by different cartoonists at the same time without them realising AMAZING)

  5. My "commenturd" will be beat up your "commentard."

    The thought of Merriam-Webster merging with Urban Dictionary is so deliciously Ideocratic, maybe that would be a good tack to take.

  6. Throw down, motherfucker.

  7. I wonder if the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster compete to see who can justify the most ridiculous inclusion.

    It may actually be easier to get something in the OED (sleep with one of the editorial assistants) than into Urban Dictionary (make up something both funny and edgy).

  8. If only OED and Merriam-Webster could reach across the aisle. Find some common ground. Forge a centrist coalition.

  9. Cut superlative inflation, balance the use of 'hero', one spelling of 'peace' in our time.

  10. I do have to say, I have kind of a crush on these editors from Merriam-Webster's YouTube tutorials. Hmm, maybe I should interview them...



  11. The 2012 Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Swimsuit Edition

  12. Nothing improves articulacy like a hot piece of ass.

  13. They say the sexiest part of the body is the mind. I disagree. I don't want to see that at all.

  14. Heh.

  15. I'd like to know the process by which words get made words. Like, what level of penetration into the culture does a slang word have to make before being officially recognized? There was a bit on some TV show (can't remember which one), where they made up a word and took bets on how long it would take to hear it on "Melrose Place."

  16. Has 'meh' made it in? Not that I have strong feelings about its inclusion one way or another.

  17. A friend of mine used to work for the OED, and could probably satisfy Nathan's interest in the wordification process. Nay, quench. Destroy. Overwhelm with minutiae.

  18. James, all jokes aside, I would be very interested to learn that. I hope this piece gets written by you, so you can interview him or her, and I can be educated in this matter.