Monday, August 27, 2012

New Words in the Dictionary

Merriam Webster Editor at Large Peter Sokolowski recently released a list of new words that are being added to the 2012 update of Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary … and it’s a revealing snapshot of a changing culture.

To quote Neatorama: “These new additions are sure to vex the older generation, vindicate students involved in English class arguments, and turn future Scrabble games into a total mess.”

Here’s a random sampling of these new words:
• aha moment

• bucket list

• cloud computing

• earworm

• f-bomb

• game changer

• mash-up

• sexting

• systemic risk

• underwater

How many do you know? [Scroll down for the definitions.]

• aha moment: A moment of sudden inspiration, insight, recognition or understanding

• bucket list: A list of things that one wants to do before dying

• cloud computing: Storing regularly used computer data on servers that can be accessed via the Internet

• earworm: A song or melody that keeps repeating in one’s mind

• f-bomb: A euphemism for having used the “f-word”

• game changer: A new element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way

• mash-up: Something created by combining elements from two or more sources

• sexting: Sending sexually explicit messages or images by cell phone

• systemic risk: The risk that the failure of one financial institution could cause other interconnected institutions to fail…and thus harm the economy as a whole

• underwater: A mortgage loan for which more is owed than the property securing the loan is worth

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