A ginormous smackdown

I love words and am usually known by friends to be one using terms that aren’t so commonplace. I especially like terms that are crossovers, words that are foreign but have become part of everyday jargon such as joie de vivre. A favorite of mine is soi-disant which means “so-called”. My grandpa once chided me for referring to a group of girls as snobs because surely “there are better, more intellectual descriptions”. So we came up with “egregious egotists”. 🙂

Every year Webster’s decides to add a few new words to the dictionary based on usage and growing popularity. I just have one question: who is this Webster and why does he get all the say? I always think of that tiny kid from the ’80’s show Webster…Anyhooo, I check out the list just for kicks because I’m always intrigued to find out which new terms have been added. The following are officially recognized as “words” or “terms” or just basically slapped with a seal of Webster’s approval (he’s got such tiny hands).

  • Ginormous (adj) – huge, enormous. The fusion between gigantic and enormous is now official (you can wipe the sweat off your brow – whew!).
  • Smackdown (noun) – decisive defeat. Yes, no longer just nomenclature of the WWE, even presidential candidates could be experiencing a smackdown.
  • Flex-cuff (noun) – plastic strip used as a restraint. Goodie – glad we can stop saying “those plastic hand-cuffy thingys”.
  • The perfect storm (noun) – a disastrous situation with a powerful concurrence of factors (in other words, not just a movie with George Clooney).
  • Crunk (noun or adj) – style of Southern rap and rapid dance rhythms. Thank you So You Think You Can Dance for introducing us to this.
  • Telenovela (noun) – Latin soap opera. Wow. I was…wondering…what to call…those.
  • Hardscape (noun) – benches/gazebos/other structures found in a landscape. Because they’re not soft like flowers.

What I find hilarious is that these words were described as “cutting edge vocabulary”. Hmmmm, all very interesting but I’m not sure about “cutting edge”. Just seems like Webster’s is kickin’ it mainstream.


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