Saturday, August 2, 2008

Word To Your Mother

Let's talk about words. Each year the scholars over at Merriam-Webster decide which new words to add the the dictionary thus making them fair game for Scrabble players. This year they added more than a 100 new ones. Here are a few they've decided are page worthy, along with my comments. The year is parenthesis is the year that the word was first spotted in print. I have taken the words and definitions from this website.

Air quotes (1989): gesture made by raising and flexing the index and middle fingers of both hands, used to call attention to a spoken word or expression. -- For my money there is gesture in the world as annoying as this one. The air semi-colon however is one of my favorites, and both still beat playing the air guitar while listening to Foreigner's "Jukebox Hero" in your best friend's basement.

Dirty bomb (1956): bomb designed to release radioactive material -- And I thought this just meant you added olive juice to the mixture. Oh wait, that's a dirty martini.

Edamame (1951): immature green soybeans, usually in the pod -- What? These soybeans laugh at fart jokes and snicker like Beavis and Butthead when their teacher talks about Uranus? Either way they're green and nasty and I ain't eating them.

Netroots (2003): grassroots political activists who communicate via the Internet, especially by blogs. -- Those rascally bloggers

Pescatarian (1993): vegetarian whose diet includes fish. -- Hey, I'm not a carnivore after all. I'm a meatatarian.

Pretexting (1992): presenting oneself as someone else to obtain private information -- I thought maybe this is what you did if you were air quoting to warm up your fingers before sending a text message on your Iphone.

Prosecco (1881): a dry Italian sparkling wine. -- Is there a reason it took a 127 years before this word was recognized? Did this one get voted in by the old-timers committee? (If you're not a baseball fan you may not get that reference)

Racino (1995): racetrack at which slot machines are available for gamblers. -- I prefer a pokacino, but thena gian that sounds more like a drink at Starbucks than a place to play poker and wager on the ponies.

Supercross (1983): motorcycle race held in a stadium on a dirt track having hairpin turns and high jumps. -- Only 25 years for this one. Supercross says "Eat my dirt Prosecco.!"

Texas Hold 'em (1995): Poker in which each player is dealt two cards face down and all players share five cards dealt face-up. -- Come one everybody join in ...

So I handed him my bottle and he drank down my last swallow.
Then he bummed a cigarette and asked me for a light.
And the night got deathly quiet, and his face lost all expression.
Said, if you're gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.

You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There ll be time enough for countin' when the dealins done.

Call me crazy, but I think the Webster board added a gambling, wine drinker to this year's committee.

20 comments:

Joshua said...

hahahaha, thats what makes it classic! cheap feels all around.

Monnik said...

This is a great post Travis, except for the Kenny Rogers earworm. I could've done without that.

Bea said...

Wow! I think I should read my dictionary! I had NO IDEA!
Back from Vegas, tired and broke, but at least we had FUN!

Charles Gramlich said...

Wow, they're on top of things with wine and motorcycles eh?

Anonymous said...

Jenn says:

I cannot believe being your wife and knowing myself, That I was not on a committee let alone one that involved DRINKING and GAMBLING. They probably do not go out for martinis after the meetings. Who needs them. Goodgrief. I need a committee I am on my last year for one now. I always have Mardi Gras!!! That is the best committee by far anyways.

David Cranmer said...

These are the same people that added metrosexual a couple years back so having a gambling, wine drinker on staff can only improve things.

Robin said...

This is great...semantics is my favorite game and you are a formidable opponent! Loved it!

But seriously Travis the 'mater/blood reference icked me plum out! Never again at Wendy's!...Never!

Headed to KS to give birth to a 14 year old boy...in labor now, wish me luck...yikes! Thought I'd be bigger!

Beth said...

Oooh I love this sort of stuff!

I don't call Air Quotes "Air Quotes". I call 'em Bunny Ears. In fact most people I know actually call them Bunny Ears. Maybe because bunnies are less annoying and it takes the edge off? I don't know.

As for the pescatarians..I've got a good friend who is a vegetarian and he has another name for vegetarians who eat fish; hypocrites.

yellowdog granny said...

other than texas hold em..i'll give you a buck for every time you ever used one of those new words....what a bunch of goofy words...

Beth said...

honey, I aint eatin edamame either! that stuff is just gross...I don't care how good it's supposed to be for you! YUK!!!

and "air quotes" always makes me think of Joey from "Friends"...god I miss that show.

Barbara Martin said...

This must happen everytime words are added to any dictionary. Sometimes I wonder, considering some of the words you mentioned, Travis, I have never heard or read before. The aliens are at it again.

holly said...

dude i giggled all the way through this post, parTICularly (does air colon sign) the meatatarian. me too, dude, me too!

and obviously, being wine-based, the prosecco had to *age* first...

but then you had to go write the lyrics to that song that gets stuck in my head for days at a time. i'll be waking up with that thank you very much!

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Travis,

Between Clare's post over at Women of Mystery and your post here, I am officially declaring Satuday August 2nd as laugh out loud day in our little corner of the blogosphere.

Terrie

ChrisEldin said...

HAHAHAH! My favorite is meatatarium!!

Thanks for the morning laugh!
:-)

Mary said...

Oh, wow! I’m a pescatarian. Much easier than saying, “I don’t eat meat.” (But I have nothing against those who do. ;) )

Mary Witzl said...

I've never used air quotes. And I'm not a smiley face fan either. For some reason, I associate the people who use air quotes with the over-users of smiley faces.

Edamame are great, but I personally think that these aren't served right unless you're in Japan. You need to boil them, salt them, put them in a nice dish and serve them with ice cold beer (a LOT of it) on a summer day. Then you put on a yukata and get a hand-held fan and eat them outside on your veranda, while swatting away mosquitos. Perfect.

jerseygirl89 said...

Teehee, that's a great conclusion! And now I know why I'm not better at Scrabble - I don't know enough about Italian wine!

Lana Gramlich said...

I thought we already had words for "pretexting"; lying, fraud, etc.

sybil law said...

Classic.
:D

Merry Monteleone said...

My daughter started using air quotes recently... it took all my strength not to look for a ruler to rap her knuckles with - she's in that obnoxious sarcasm stage - which will probably last for the rest of her life, seeing as she's related to me...

This one's great, Travis... meatatarian's awesome... I think I'd have to be a pastatartian, or maybe that's startchatarian... oh, wait, that wouldn't allow for chocolate, would it?