When new words pop up in pop culture, as they do, it never occurs to me to bemoan the state of the English language or the literacy of the current generation. Whether I like a modern coinage or think it’s the worstmanteau ever (surely that one is in the running), my initial response tends to be appropriately learned and eloquent, like “Heck yeah — words!”
I love ridiculous* new words. [Tweet this.]
That explains why I love to read the lists of new words added to dictionaries. It explains why I love the Wordwatch tweets from my well-read colleague Daniel Sosnoski and the Word Soup posts by Angela Tung on the Wordnik blog, even though I’m only slightly familiar with most of the source material. It also explains why I love WordSpy: The Word Lovers Guide to Modern Culture.
WordSpy is a book by Paul McFedries. As the author puts it, “It’s a series of cultural snapshots, with the lens focused on new words and phrases that tell us something about our world.” It is also a website, a daily or weekly mailing list, a Twitter account, and a Facebook Page. Wherever you hang out, WordSpy can be there, making that space even more wordtastic.
What delightful words can you expect to discover? Here’s a recent one that resonated with me (and other editor friends):
The next time you’re procaffinating, reignite your imaginative, word-loving side by browsing some ridiculous new words.
Of course, I also love ridiculous old words. But that’s a post for another week.
* Let me prespond to those who don’t think ridiculous, “inspiring or deserving ridicule,” is the word I want here. I’m using the original, straight from the Latin, meaning: “excites laughter.” Just kidding. I'm using any of the slang meanings that indicate “outrageous,” “excellent,” “awesomesauce,” etc.