Fun with English!

I’ll admit it; I love it when the Merriam-Webster dictionary adds new words. In many ways it provides a snap shot of what has been happening in American culture. Merriam-Webster Inc. has added more than 100 words to the latest edition of its Collegiate Dictionary. The Associated Press offered up a small sample which shows America’s expanding multiculturalism and love affair with technology and the internet.

Thumbs up for:

Webisode, which was first documented in 1996, is an episode especially of a TV show that may or may not have been telecast but can be viewed at a Web site. Can all the Dr. Horrible fans in the house give me a yeah?

Reggaeton, which was first documented in 2003, is popular music of Puerto Rican origin that combines rap with Caribbean rhythms. If you want to shake your booty, Reggaeton works quite well at getting the job done.

Frenemy, which surprisingly was first document in 1977, is one who pretends to be a friend but is actually an enemy. I know, I know….I KNOW! It’s dumb; it’s probably used on teen oriented CW television shows I don’t watch. However, I love it. First off, everyone has known someone who pretends to be your friend but secretly they’re out to destroy you. In the past I was forced to use words that I’ve been discouraged from using on the website to describe my relationship to someone like this, but now they’re a hip frenemy! Anyway, I read Perez Hilton, Go Fug Yourself, and TMZ almost daily. You can’t read those sites without some of the lingo sticking.

Shawarma, which was first documented in 1953, is a sandwich especially of sliced lamb or chicken, vegetables, and often tahini wrapped in pita bread. How have we survived as a civilization without a definition for the yummy shawarma? I imagine some precocious youth reading the dictionary (Hey, it happens, right?) and stumbling upon shawarma and saying to themselves, I have GOT to get me some of that!

Thumbs down for:

Locavore, which was first documented in 2005, is one who eats foods grown locally whenever possible. I have no problem with the eat local food movement, but seriously, did we need a word for it? And if we did, did it need to make me think of loca, as in that girl is loca? Or worse, the song “Locomotion”, which is now stuck in my head. Thanks locavores!

Waterboarding, which was first documented in 2004, is an interrogation technique in which water is forced into a detainee’s mouth and nose as to induce the sensation of drowning. I don’t actually have a problem with the word, and I understand why it made the cut to get added into the latest edition, I’m just sad that we all learned what it was.

Staycation, which was first documented in 2005, is a vacation spent at home or nearby. Was there a more offensive trend in the media then the invention of the staycation? You know, stay home poor people; us wealthy folks will enjoy the vacation hot spots.

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I tried to come up with a witty, thoughtful, ending for this article, but how on earth do you follow The Daily Show? So I’m not trying. End of article. Click out.