The 2016 New-Word Crop Is In

If it’s May it must be New Word season at Merriam-Webster. This year’s crop has a few that left me scratching my head. Dox was new to me. It’s a verb meaning: to publicly identify or publish private information about (someone) especially as a form of punishment or revenge. (The split infinitive comes from M-W, not me.)

We have nomophobia n: fear of being without access to a working cell phone; trigger warning n:  a statement cautioning that content (as in a text, video, or class) may be disturbing or upsetting; and wacky tobacky n, slang: marijuana.

I love this one: giclée n : a process by which high-quality prints are produced using an ink-jet printer. I didn’t know how to pronounce it either. M-W says it’s pronounced \(ˈ)zhē-¦klā\. Tired of Hollywood Rom-Com clichés? Too bad, ‘cause we’re stuck with meet-cute n: a cute, charming, or amusing first encounter between romantic partners (as in a movie). I’d define it differently, but…

Two others I like are compassion fatigue n: apathy or indifference toward the suffering of others as the result of overexposure to tragic news stories and images and the subsequent appeals for assistance, hella adv, slang:  very, extremely. I must be out of touch; it’s a new to me.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t credit the inspiration for this post came from Mignon Fogarty, also known as Grammar Girl and her superb podcast. Ms. Fogarty has a clear, concise, and delightfully entertaining way of discussing grammar and use. She’s neither a rule-based obsessive nor an advocate of Newspeak.


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