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Words for the Journalista

Are you a journalista? One who journals daily? I think I just made that up, but hey—that’s what makes the English language great: new words. Shakespeare did it. Bloggers do it. Why not you?

 Obviously as a writer, I’m in love with words. You probably are, too. I can’t help it. I devour words. I think about them at night, searching for the right word to describe a character, convey a feeling and set an atmosphere.  The New York Times had an article about the choices for Word of the Year for 2008. I thought the best one was frugalista: one who lives a frugal lifestyle, but stays fashionable and healthy by swapping clothes and growing her own produce. Know one? (It was that growing her own produce thing that stumped me.)

Here are some other choices…

Hypermiling: an attempt to increase gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to your driving style.  (I’ll bet frugalistas also hypermile.)

Topless meeting: a meeting in which the participants are barred from using laptops and cellphones. (Sounds pretty top secret. Either than, or management is afraid they don’t have your entire attention and don’t want you playing Solitaire.)

CarrotMob: a instantaneous type of meeting or gathering where people are invited via the Net to support a local small business by patronizing it. (Sounds far too trendy for me.  I’m still clipping coupons out of the newspaper.)

Did you know DVR, Bollywood, ginormous, perfect storm, smackdown, and speed dating, all made it into the 2007 edition of Webster’s as new words?

The American Dialect Society has members vote on the Word of the Year. In 2007 the Word of the Year was subprime, which refers to the shaky finances of the borrower, not what in meant in the 1970’s, a loan under the prime rate. How times change.

ZardozZ News and Satire (http://zardozz.com) says these words should already be in your lexicon as they are already over two years old. I hope you’ve been using them. Heck, that word Subprime is bringing down the country, so damn right we're using it. Even cursing with it.

GENERICA: Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, and subdivisions. (Where did the Mom and Pop stores go?)

OHNOSECOND: That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake. (Like after hitting send on an email and you haven’t yet written a message or firing off a nuke by leaning your elbow on the console.)

IRRITAINMENT: Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. (Like the election, a slow moving Midwest storm, or the falling stock market.)

CUBE FARM : An office filled with cubicles. (Eg: Dilbertville.)

ASSMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard. (We all know a few of these.)

SEAGULL MANAGER: A manager, who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves. (Oh yeah. Know him.)

BLAMESTORMING Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible. (Very Washington.)

What's your latest new word? Care to share?

Tory Hartmann