Monday, June 20, 2011

New Words

I've often mentioned in my posts that all humans can make up new words--and do.  I frequently notice new words in weeklies like Newsweek and Time, but in other sources as well, including speech.  Of course, when toddlers are learning to speak they constantly make up new words.  That's part of the fun of listening to them.

When my son Dan was in Kindergarten, his school had a new social science curriculum, which started with 5 year olders.  At dinner, one evening, he announced, "Today we learned about producers of goods." Impressed, we just nodded, but then he continued, "I guess tomorrow we'll learn about producers of bads."

Although I notice new words, I rarely remember them, so today I wrote some down. I hope you all will share words you hear with me. Just hit the Comment button.  So here are mine:

glamping 'luxurious campsites;
netiquette 'politeness on line'
anti-dweeb  'against nerdy people'
netizens 'people who use the internet'
triopoly 'NBC, ABC, and CBS who apparently control television'
hit-driven industry 'like movies and music'
Baracketology 'Republican scrutiny of the President's weaknesses' (from the cover of Time, 6/27/2011)
Cathedocracy-'the rule of religous scholars as opposed to rule by the Pope' (Johnson's History of Jews)
eurozone 'pertaining to a crisis in the European Common Market'
perp walk 'a man handcuffed while walking to court'
disclosure-of-donations as in 'all disclosure-of-donations regulations'  A  phrase used as one word, put into an adjective position before a noun.

These were new to me.  Perhaps you've heard all or some of them already.  Be on the lookout for new coinages, including those like the last, which change parts of speech.

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