In Other (and new) Words

It will be a quiet summer for me with just a few staycations planned where I will just sip some acai juice (even if that makes me not a locavore) and try not worry about my carbon footprint or unpleasantries in the news like waterboarding.

So, I worked 5 of this year's new additions to the 2009 update of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary into that awkward opening sentence. A staycation ("a vacation spent at home or nearby") is one of about 100 additions that includes words I have heard used this past year like acai (Brazilian Protuguese for "a small dark purple fleshy berrylike fruit of a tall slender palm (Euterpe oleracea) of tropical Central and South America that is often used in beverages").

I wrote earlier here about the Global Language Monitor's Millionth Word March which announced that the millionth word to be added to English was lexeme. Consolation prizes for Web 2.0, slumdog, octomom and the rest of you for playing our game.

Some of the new words seem a bit old to me already - carbon footprint, earmark, waterboarding, cardioprotective, locavore, naproxen, fan fiction, flash mob, sock puppet, vlog, webisode, memory foam, and missalette must have finally met the time test so that they made it into the dictionary club.

I imagine there are plenty of neologisms (a new word for new words) that did not make the cut this year.

I'm not sure we need a word like "precycling" to describe that process of thinking about a purchase with a mind to how it will be later recycled, though I like the idea that people might be doing that more now than ever before. (Do we really need to add upcyle, e-cycling and e-scraps?)

It's getting as hard to keep up with all these words as it is to keep up with all the technology.


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