WotD

Mar 242014
 

dullaby (neologism, noun): a story you’ve heard so many times it puts you to sleep.

 Posted by at 9:47 am on Mon 03/24/14
Nov 202013
 

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.

 Posted by at 10:05 am on Wed 11/20/13
Jan 292013
 

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

 Posted by at 8:47 pm on Tue 01/29/13
Jan 172013
 

I imagine I’ll be straining to remember this word early tomorrow morning.

Dictionary.com

hypnopompic \hip-nuh-POM-pik\ , adjective:

Of or pertaining to the semiconscious state prior to complete wakefulness.

Dictionary.com

 Posted by at 1:00 pm on Thu 01/17/13
Dec 072012
 

Although it’s not a food word, Atrisco (“the place by the reeds”) here in New Mexico is of Nahuatl origin. I think the synergistic effects of conquest (giving and receiving) must have contributed as much to Spanish as to English, plus exchanges between the two.

Merriam-Webster Online

How many English food words can you name that derive from Nahuatl, a group of languages spoken by native peoples of Mexico and Central America? You’ve probably guessed that "tamale" gives you one; it came to us (by way of Mexican Spanish) from the Nahuatl "tamalli," a word for steamed cornmeal dough. Add to the menu "chili" (from "ch?lli," identifying all those fiery peppers); "chocolate" (from "chocol?tl," first used for a beverage made from chocolate and water); "guacamole" (from "?huacatl," meaning "avocado," plus "m?lli," meaning "sauce"); and "tomato" (from "tomatl"). Top it all off with "chipotle" (a smoked and dried pepper), from "ch?lli" and "p?ctli" (meaning "something smoked").

Merriam-Webster Online

 Posted by at 8:47 pm on Fri 12/07/12