Words, Words, Words

With no apologies to Alan Jay Lerner, I am not sick of words. In fact there are great new contributions to the cause. The Oxford English Dictionary has added many, including some slangy new phrases to its venerable collection. OMG, I’m LOL that has joined the official lexicon even if I had to copy and paste the symbol from the OED web site. And I the addition of lumpenintelligentsia.”

I wish they’d omitted “muffin top.” The image revolts me (not the kind that come from the oven but the one that has “cf. spare tyre” after it.)

Speaking of food, “banh mi,” “taquito,” and “keftiko” are hardly English words, but I know the first one tastes great. Others in the food category don’t sound so appealing. I don’t know that I’d eat something called an “Eton mess” even if it does contain strawberries and whipped cream. Likewise, flat white sounds like a variety of paint or printer paper rather than a variety of espresso.

Some the entries seem late upon arrival. “Tinfoil hat” should have gone in years ago. Should we infer anything from its inclusion now that the phrase applies to the folks who believe in the black helicopters? Likewise, “la-la land” has been around practically since the time of the conquistadors.

Words new to me: “lashed” for drunk, “cream-crackered” (which sounds oh, so English) for exhausted.

The OED has already launched its new stuff upon the world. Now I’m eagerly awaiting Write More Good. I had to stop following the Bureau Chiefs, who produce @fakeapstylebook because it was eating up far too much of my time. Samples from the “Greatest Hits”: “Remember what happens when you assume. Frankly, you save yourself a lot of work.” Wish I’d had this one when I was teaching English: “there/their/they’re – What, seriously? This confuses you?”

Anyway the Bureau Chiefs will be releasing More Good, subtitle, “An Absolutely Phoney Guide on How To.” If the rest of the book is as funny as the Glossary, I’ll have to keep a hankie nearby as the laughter will turn to tears. “Author Dudley Moore vehicle about the dangers of alcoholism.” “editor. Alcoholic” “quote. what someone says, or you know, the gist of it.” “style guide. The sales clerk at Nordstrom who help you pick out a tie that harmonizes with your shirt.”

The grammar section offers this quip. “The colon can often be used to introduce a complete thought: There is a very easy scatological joke for the ‘colon’ entry: This is not it.”

To tie these two items together, Poynter served up a chance to use as many new OED words in a tweet as possible.  Now why would anyone be sick of words with all this great stuff available?

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