Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Week for Words

Two articles caught my eye in one week: one horrified this word nerd; the other made me smile.  The first one came across in my daily updates from Time magazine. I don’t know how I started getting these updates, but they are a quick shot of daily news.  True, once upon a time, I subscribed to Time, but during the last election cycle, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore and discontinued the subscription I’d had since college.  But…I digress. 

Wouldn’t this catch your eye?  Oxford Dictionaries Adds ‘Hot Mess,’ ‘Side Boob,’ ‘Throw Shade’? OK, so I’d heard hot mess, wasn’t quite sure what it meant, but at least I’d heard it. Most of the others were news to me. Since I use instant messaging all day long at work, I liked these abbreviations:
  • YOLO—You only live once
  • WDYT—What do you think?
  • SMH—Shaking my head
  • ICYMI—In case you missed it 

On the other hand, I can’t imagine saying “cray” instead of “crazy” or “adorbs” instead of “adorable.”  What’s the point? Perhaps it takes too much energy to say a-dor-a-ble.  After all, four syllables is a mouthful. A few of the new words are just plain icky.  And, yes, “icky” is in the dictionary.

As for hot mess, I smiled to myself when I had coffee with a colleague this week who described a project as a hot mess.  And, I LOL when I read the definition of mansplain (v.): (of a man) explain something to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing.  I’m betting there are some ladies out there laughing with me.

The second article in the Saturday WSJ was much more to my liking. 'Qajaq' Floats Into Scrabble Dictionary alerted me to the fact that 5,000 new words have been added to the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.  Like me, my fellow word nerds may not know what a “qajaq” is, but likely know that it’s a palindrome. I don’t play Scrabble all that often anymore, but I’m hopelessly addicted to Words with Friends, so I’d get a kick out of a new Scrabble dictionary.  The same rules apply in WWF as in Scrabble:  you can’t use the dictionary while playing.  It’s fun, though, just to scan the dictionary from time to time to find words that start with “q” and don’t need a “u”, for example.  Is there now any doubt in your mind that I’m a word nerd?

In true word nerd fashion, I also discovered a new word game last week—SeeWord.  It was mentioned in another of my daily emails as a game that would keep your mind sharp.  I am also now addicted to it. It’s described as “... an addicting new word game in which players can score points by moving around lettered tiles on the 6x6 grid-style game board, in order to spell words.”

In the scheme of things, I’m pretty sure there are worse things in life to be addicted to.  (And, for my grammar geek readers--yes, I’m aware I just ended a sentence with a preposition!)