"New Dictionary Words: extraordinary rendition or girlfriend experience?"

2007
Jun
4

cross-posted at MetaFilter

Hundreds of ‘new’ words in the new edition of the Collins English Dictionary (Reuters story), also via BBC, AP and the Fox Television Stations (headline with no story, surprising since its publisher is another Rupert Murdoch subsidiary… but I digress). Some are obvious: hoodie, wiki, POTUS, plasma screen; some reflect our times: Gitmo, Londonistan, extraordinary rendition, carbon footprint; some are absolutely slangy: celebutante, McMansion, muffin top, man bag, disemvowel, barbecue stopper, girlfriend experience… Also in the book: ho. And not the version Santa Claus says. The new dictionary is available “online, on mobiles, as a desktop application or integrated with Microsoft Word” – when you buy the deadtree edition.

Addendum (not at MeFi): Not yet in the Collins Dictionary, but in the online Urban Dictionary and Pseudodictionary is the word foxymoron. Its becoming commonly defined as “a woman whose incredibly gorgeous appearance belies her unbelievably dim-witted intelligence, ” which sadly belies the proud heritage of the term “oxymoron” a subject which I know well and once built a website about. (Yes, I had collected 2000+ oxymorons.And that was back when I was supposed to have had a life.)

Correctly defined, a ‘foxymoron’ SHOULD be an obvious looking contradiction (oxymoron) that has a sly ulterior motive behind it (foxy – sly like a fox). Or, if capitalized, a reference to Fox News (a name I included in the Oxy2K), which, when you think about it is often the way Fox and other Big Media manipulators work.

There are already some foxymorons on the web, including a New Zealand-based “webazine”. Still, I need to work on redefining that definition… as if any of my other attempts at word-coining ever got anywhere.

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