Two, no three, Words of the Day

Word of the Day | Definition, Word Origins, and Quotes at Dictionary.com

Word of the Day

Monday, May 19, 2014

verbicide

\ VUR-buh-sahyd \  , noun;

1. the willful distortion or depreciation of the original meaning of a word.

2. a person who willfully distorts the meaning of a word.

Word of the Day | Definition, Word Origins, and Quotes at Dictionary.com

Word of the Day | Definition, Word Origins, and Quotes at Dictionary.com

The shady side, or ubac , is usually rocky, steep and densely forested, whereas the sunny slope, or adret , is gentler and much more fertile.

— Pier Paolo Viazzo, Upland Communities: Environment, Population and Social Structure in the Alps Since the Sixteenth Century , 1989

Word of the Day | Definition, Word Origins, and Quotes at Dictionary.com

Say hello and goodbye to Axolotl

The Bing photo of the day brings the dismal fate of axoloti, plus the words neoteny and endorheic lake, to my attention (I’m surrounded by the latter). It’s one thing to be food, another to be poisoned into extinction, but to survive solely to be be mutilated “for science” is tragic [shakes his fist].

Axolotl – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As of 2010, wild axolotls were near extinction due to urbanization in Mexico City and consequent water pollution. They are currently listed by CITES as an endangered species and by IUCN as critically endangered in the wild, with a decreasing population. Axolotls are used extensively in scientific research due to their ability to regenerate limbs. Axolotls were also sold as food in Mexican markets and were a staple in the Aztec diet.

A four month long search in 2013 turned up no surviving individuals in the wild. Previous surveys in 1998, 2003 and 2008 had found 6000, 1000 and 100 axolotls per square kilometer in its Lake Xochimilco habitat, respectively.

Axolotl – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Endorheic basin – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New Mexico has a number of desert endorheic basins including:

Endorheic basin – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

‘Selfie’ wins title for word of the year for 2013 | ABQJournal Online

I’ve been reluctant to follow the herd on this, but ‘selfie’ is very convenient, and that usually wins me over. Even the masturbatory undertone is fitting, metaphorically. Ours is the Age of the Self, as any blogger proves.

‘Selfie’ wins title for word of the year for 2013 | ABQJournal Online

Perhaps surprising to some, the term was first recorded in Australia, not the U.S. or Britain, in 2002. An abashed and probably hungover participant in an Internet forum posted a self-portrait taken after a drunken accident on a set of stairs.

“I had a hole … right through my bottom lip,” the post said. “And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.”

‘Selfie’ wins title for word of the year for 2013 | ABQJournal Online

Convenience swayed me to simplify “an e-mail” but as long as I live the Web and the Internet will be capitalized, much as the Universe should be.

The evolution of ‘whelm’ leaves me gruntled

Merriam-Webster Online

Contemporary writers like Philips sometimes use "whelm" to denote a middle stage between "underwhelm" and "overwhelm." But that’s not how "whelm" has traditionally been used. "Whelm" and "overwhelm" have been with us since Middle English (when they were "whelmen" and "overwhelmen"), and throughout the years their meanings have largely overlapped. Both words early on meant "to overturn," for example, and both have also come to mean "to overpower in thought or feeling." Around 1950, however, folks started using a third word, "underwhelmed," for "unimpressed," and lately "whelmed" has been popping up with the meaning "moderately impressed."

Merriam-Webster Online