Today I was listening to “Say’s You,” which is a radio program I’m partial to. Yeah, a radio program…big whoop, wanna fight about it?
At any rate, their regular panel was being quizzed on computer terms, among which were “head crash,” “flashing your firmware,” “bricking,” and some others. Slaving most of my life away slaving in front of computer type machines, I was pretty familiar with all the terms, but one of the questions I didn’t know the answer to:
What is the difference between a disc and a disk?
Give up? Well, as it turns out, the term “disc” is used for optical media, including CDs, DVDs, LaserDiscs, etc., and “disk” is used for magnetic media. Who knew?
Fifty years from now, I’ll wager that mice will outlive us as virtually indestructible beings thanks to numerous medical advances.
What’s that you say? Your pet mouse lost a leg and has brain cancer? Sure, we can fix that. Oh, and your other mouse is dead? We’ll just reanimate him. What? You have carpel tunnel syndrome? Sorry, not much we can do about that…
The OED has recently added some new words to the English language and I’d like to personally welcome them:
- Interweb, you rightfully claim this spot at the top of the list. Soon I hope to welcome your brother “The Tubes.”
- Defriend, in the unlikely event that I find myself overwhelmingly popular (really any degree of popular), you may be my savior.
- Bromance, may you clear up emotional awkwardness with your one armed man hugs for years to come.
- Automagically, you are so mysterious and delightful! Like “automatic” but with five times the showmanship.
- Microblogging, netbook, paywall, tweetup… I think the rest of the techie buzzwords are in the back trying to chat up the angel investors.
Some of the new recruits seems like they were just late to the party…probably off pre-partying somewhere:
- Hater, steampunk, overthink, buzzkill…I’m looking at you.
- And turducken, I understand the need to be fashionably late, but the party really can’t start until you show up!
And then some words really kinda snuck in under a thinly veiled argument that they weren’t, in fact, phrases.
- Chill pill, exit strategy, social media, and national treasure, even if you were words the only reason you’d be here is that you’ve been hanging outside the door for so long.
- Wardrobe malfunction, you get a pass as you are the spice of life.
- Soft skills, presumably you came from the void that a lack of hard skills leaves behind, and I can respect a word (i.e. phrase) that started from nothing and has made it this far. Lose the space and we’ll talk.
- Cool hunter, the irony you bring is mind boggling. Anyone with any semblance of coolness would never use “cool hunter,” as that is undeniably lame. Go back to the 80′s where you might find a good gig as a Jean Claude Van Damme movie title.
- Dictionary attack, you could be cool if you tried a little harder. At least find a hyphen.
Some other words this new generation have great utilitarian value, but are unfortunately configured, so I begrudgingly invite them in, like an annoying younger brother:
- Staycation, as someone who thinks that organizing vacations is more work than…well…work, I am prone to enjoy going nowhere on my vacations. I just wish you didn’t convey that message with such a “high-school-blonde” vibe.
- Frenemy, you also describe an otherwise nebulous concept quite concisely…but you also sound like the invention of those infernal tweens.
- Cheeseball, you have the amazing talent of sounding both juvenile and like you belong in the 70′s.
- Vuvuzela, you are annoying, but you play a good game of Scrabble. I guess you can come in, but try to keep it down.
A number of words came out of the settling dust of the latest economic collapse.
- Bargainious, you are hard to say and a completely unnecessary “adjectivization” of bargain.
- Deleveraging and overleveraged, just because leverage is so easy to get with doesn’t mean you should encourage that kind of behavior. I hope you at least used protection.
- Toxic debt, again, that space means your not a word, but “toxic” is such a good word to roll with that I just might let you slide by. Quantitative easing, you on the other hand are neither a word nor cool. You remind me of difficult calculus. Go away.
And some of the noobs are just plain annoying…
- Freemium, like staycation and frenemy, your rhyme scheme places you one level above puns, which leaves you on thin ice indeed. Don’t mistake witty repartee for desperately trying to be rebellious an individualistic. Leave that to the teenagers.
- Fussbudget, the senior citizens home is down the road.
- Catastrophizing, you can’t just put on a new hat and pretend you’re a new word. That’s just a ridiculousification of the process.
And for some words, well, I’m not really quite sure where they came from and how they got in:
- Hikikomori, I believe Japanese is down the hall and to the left.
- LBD, you are an acronym, not a word. Words need vowels. What so special about a little black dress anyway?
- Carbon capture and storage, I’m not even sure where to start. You aren’t a word…you even barely pass as a phrase. You’re damn near a whole sentence! Not only that, you aren’t in the least bit interesting. I don’t care if the OED is vouching for you…you killing my buzz. And I used to be such a nice guy.
Oh, before I forget, this was my first time meeting many of these words. For those of you who haven’t been introduced properly, here is the complete, uninterrupted list of new words and their definitions.