Welcome to the dictionary

I always find it interesting when Merriam-Webster Inc announces new inductees into the Big Book. As a connoisseur of words, I like to see what’s new in the “food” aisles. I saw in the Sunday paper that the new list is out and here’s the interesting thing. The list is full of two-word words. You heard me right right. Two-word words. Like these:

  • man cave
  • life coach
  • energy drink
  • craft beer
  • bucket list
  • tipping point
  • cloud computing
  • game changer

I am happy to say I know what all these things are, but still amazed that the dictionary that used to define words is now needed to help us define us. The word “man” (an adult male human) coupled with “cave” (a natural chamber or series of chambers in the earth or in the side of a hill or cliff) is NOT defined as “a dwelling in the side of a hill for an adult male human.” This is what it is defined as:

a room or space (as in a basement) designed according to the taste of the man of the house to be used as his personal area for hobbies and leisure activities.

The dictionary is now a place to record cultural phenonema! (Cultural: of or relating to culture + Phenomena: an exceptional, unusual, or abnormal person, thing, or occurrence!)

The idea that a “bucket list” is defined as a list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket (come back Friday for a special guest post by a good friend of mine on this very same subject) is remarkable to me. Because there is nothing about a bucket list that involves a real bucket. Look up “bucket” in a dictionary and you will see what I mean.
I just find that very interesting.

But I have to say none of these word words are my favorite for 2012. This one is my favorite: Earworm – “a song or melody that keeps repeating in one’s mind.”
Gotta love it.
And it’s exactly seven letters long. Can’t wait to play it on a Scrabble board and get that bingo.

See you Friday. Bring your bucket list.

Author: Susan

This post has 5 Comments

  1. Mocha with Linda on August 27, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I always love to see the new words too! I'm such a word geek. And Scrabble fiend. LOL

    Have you seen the movie named The Bucket List? Language is atrocious but it's a great movie.

    Man cave is one of the more idiotic things society has come up with, in my opinion — both the concept and the name!

  2. Lindsay Harrel on August 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Earworm…ew! 😛

    This IS super fascinating. It reminds me of the urban dictionary!

  3. Susan Meissner on August 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Linda, your true feelings for the man cave make me laugh! And Linds, I have to say yes, “earworm” is very ew but oh how I love its quirky definition!

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