"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Literature in the News: New Words for Webster’s Dictionary

You can probably find an article in all the newspapers on the new words Webster’s is entering into their dictionary this year, but I went straight to the Webster’s website for the information.  

SPRINGFIELD, MASS., May 19, 2014—Hashtag, selfie, and tweep join over 150 new words and definitions added to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary in 2014, available now in print and online at Merriam-Webster.com. These new additions to America's best-selling dictionary reflect the growing influence technology is having on human endeavor, especially social networking, once done mostly in person. 

Yes it seems computers, the internet, and other technologies are altering our language.  Until this year I had never heard of “hashtag” and “selfie,” and until now I had never heard of “tweep.”  What does it mean? “A person who uses the Twitter online message service to send and receive tweets.”  Did we really need such a word?  As you can see I’m not hip with all the new technology.  I’m barely capable of managing this blog, and half the time I’m screwing that up.  My brother is amazed that my wife and I don’t have a Smart Phone.  The only selfie I’ve taken is with the time delay on my camera.   

[Which reminds me.  I was on a business trip last week and at the airport in California (of course) there was this guy—oh about early twenties in age—and while on line to check in was taking selfies of himself, solo.  There was no one else with him.  When he took the first I thought he was just trying to record the moment, but then he took a selfie of himself every other minute for about twenty minutes.  What’s with that?  And no, it wasn't the President of the United States. ;)]  

Other words of note highlighted in the article are the following, with my commentary in parenthesizes: big data (as opposed to metadata?), catfish (akin to the internet lingo of phishing, spearphishing, and whaling), crowdfunding (another internet hijacking of the multitudes), fracking (a non computer technical term for a change), freegan (oh that makes me puke), gamification (they have a word for this?), pho (what if you just added orzo?), poutine (sounds rather vulgar and it is in a gastronomic sort of way), social networking (hasn’t this been around for years?), steampunk (I knew that one, it’s a literary genre), turducken (this had to be thought up down south on someone’s peanut farm), Yooper (hey, I know at least one Yooper!).  I’ve hyperlinked them if in case my commentary made you curious.  

Ok, now I can go around and use all these hip new words and all the kids will think I’m cool.  Maybe I’ll even start taking selfies of myself. 


  1. This is an amusing post. I have to plead guilty to taking a few selfies, but many of the words are still new to me.

    I'm replying to your comment on my blog here. (Blogging communication can be quite a chase.) I actually found your blog through Litnet where I'm LM The Third. Your blog here is very eclectic. I just read your post on the strange statue of the Virgin Mary and found it thought-provoking. I don't have a working home computer right now, so might not comment much, but will still enjoy reading.
    As for Austen, you've read the three novels I like best, but this year is the bicentennial of Mansfield Park's publication, so perhaps you should consider squeezing it in before the year's out. ;) Librivox has a nice audio version.

    1. Oh you're LM! I remember you. You were one of the nice young people. I kind of got turned off by some of the new people. I was always eclectic, even on Lit Net. Is this the bi-centenial? Then i will try and rearrange my list to squeeze it in. And i'll check Libravox too. It's nice to run into you again LM. Funny we both have our own literature blogs. :)

  2. Manny, Manny, Manny- when old guys like you try to talk all cool and use hip words, the kids just laugh. Ok, old guys (and gals) like both of us. I know this because my kids laugh me all the time! Even when I use their words correctly! Well, they don't knew it yet, but the last laugh it's ours! Bwahaha!

  3. Geeeeez. KNOW it yet. Stupid cell phone.

    1. Oh let them laugh at me. He who laughs last laughs best. Unless you're an old, bumbling fool like me. ;)

  4. Manny! The fun that you seem to be having with dictionary words nowadays happen to me in the early eighties and truth be known, it was only one word that set me off.

    I probably should not be going off on a tangent and telling YA how it started but then, "I" must be myself and say that I had gotten mentally sick while working too hard trying to obtain my Real Estate Brokers license in the 1970. I finished my Real Property Law course and instead of waiting to take a mental rest, I simply immediately jumped into The Appraisal course which lasted a week. Long story short, I kind of quietly lost it mentally while taking that course and started to believe that reality angels wanted me to sell souls instead of real property land. I quietly finished The Real Estate Appraisal weekly course while having challenge these invisible angels to stop me from finishing this course and I quietly told them that I was only going to fail this course while getting only a few marks on the final exam. Longer story shorter, although, I finished the course with just a point or two, these angels won and some time later, my search for GOD was delayed again cause I had to spent 13 days at that usual mental hospital in our city cause truth be known, no human can match the ability of any invisible angels. :)

    Where was "I" Manny before an invisible angel interrupted me?

    Oh YA! I started to lose the taste for selling land in the late seventies so I was convinced by friends that a Welding course might be more to my liking and believe "IT" or not Manny, I'm going to go straight to that spelling word topic which kind of UP SET me in the early eighty. Anyway, I didn't mind the angels calling me a stud because I was the father of five girls but when someone placed a 'Friendly 'Usual 'Christian 'Kind words in a sentence on our school door while showing me the College dictionary saying that there was nothing wrong with "IT" cause this filthy word now only meant "DARN"....

    I'll close by saying that back then, I was most likely a Christian fanatic and some angels knew "IT" because I was going to church sometimes four times a day which is hard to hide but I won at school cause they were forced to take that message away while I was around at least. :) I did graduate after about a year with my Welding Certificate but wouldn't YA know "IT". There was a recession in 1982 within Canada for welders and.......................................

    AND! Thank you for your patient Manny while I was on my tangents again. LOL :)

    God Bless

    1. "Long story short, I kind of quietly lost it mentally while taking that course..."

      Is that why you're the way you are? [I'm kidding. ;)]

      Thanks for your story Victor and God bless. :)

  5. ((( Is that why you're the way you are? [I'm kidding. ;)] )))

    Manny! There are strange things done in the mid night sun, I meant to say that God does work in Mysterious Ways and as long as GOD (Good Old Dad) really did create Angels who are keeping their eyes on US (usual sinners), how can we lose if we follow The Commandments of His Son "Jesus"?

    Go Figure! LOL :)


    God Bless