Monday, May 16, 2005

Some things they shouldn't need words for

Another fine item from ResourceShelf: The New Oxford American Dictionary's list of newly added words. I know it is an indicator of my excessive geekiness but I do love things like this. In my very quick scan of these newly added lovelies, I was surprised to find that "vaginoplasty" has nineteenth-century origins. Who knew? I myself had never heard of such a thing before I moved to Los Angeles, the would-you-like-fries-with your-apocalypse? capital of the world. (The LA Weekly being replete with plastic surgery ads, including a host of possible places to get your next vaginoplasty. Ew)

Other fabulous additions:
af·flu·en·za • n. a psychological malaise supposedly affecting wealthy young people, symptoms of which include a lack of motivation, feelings of guilt, and a sense of isolation.
ORIGIN: 1970s: blend of affluent and influenza.

ge·net·ic pol·lu·tion • n. the spread of altered genes from genetically engineered organisms to other, nonengineered organisms, especially by cross-pollination.

per·ma·temp • another term for permalancer.
ORIGIN: a blend of permanent and temporary.

sec·ond·hand speech • n. conversation on a cellular phone that is overheard by people nearby: I was alternately amused and annoyed by the secondhand speech in the waiting room.

start·er mar·riage • n. a short-lived first marriage between young people that produces no offspring.

sym·pa·thet·ic smok·er • n. a person who smokes only in the company of another smoker
And so on.

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