Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

October 12, 2013

I put a spell check on you

You’ve probably heard that a bunch of new words have been added to the Oxford dictionary. Phablet. Unlike. Buzzworthy. Selfie. Twerk. Cakepop. If you haven’t heard, you must not suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), also just added. What puzzles me is, why you would be looking up any of those words in a dictionary?

You don’t know what “twerk” means? Oxford’s definition, “dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance,” isn’t that big of a help. You’d be better off looking it up on YouTube rather than in a dictionary. Well, you really won’t be better off. As a matter of fact, you’ll want to clean your eyeballs out and take a long shower to wash away the ickiness of it all, but you will be better informed about what the word means.

And, unless you’re familiar with Facebook, to “unlike” something would be hard to explain, whereas it’s easy to demonstrate. For some reason, “unfriend” is in the dictionary, but not “unsend,” a word I use constantly after realizing I have sent a wildly inappropriate email to someone by accident.

How long before the language mavens wrestle “email” to the ground? The word is in most dictionaries. But they are still fighting over whether it should be “email” or “e-mail.” Considering that one of their main jobs is to help us spell words correctly, that seems a bit of a bobble.

“Internet” is also in the dictionary now, but it’s capitalized. Why? That seems very silly. I’d keep it lowercase. It’d be like capitalizing the word “phone.” Srsly? That’s also one of new words. As you’ve no doubt figured out, it means “seriously.”

Text Only
Opinion
  • Sometimes brand-name drugs just work better When you go to the pharmacy for aspirin, do you buy Bayer or the private-label generic alternative offered by chains such as CVS? The price for Bayer's version is more than twice that of CVS's, yet the active ingredient is exactly the same. The choic

    April 24, 2014

  • Conference looks at Obama, democracy Some of America's leading public intellectuals, scholars and activists gathered at Tufts University April 16-18 for the fifth annual Barack Obama and American Democracy conference. Author Michael Eric Dyson's exhilarating opening keynote offered a ri

    April 24, 2014

  • Will losers outvote winners? When it comes to the politics of Obamacare, there's really only one question that matters: How many Americans are benefiting from the new health care system, and how many are hurting? Problem is, we know more about the first part of the question than

    April 24, 2014

  • Why EU is not your dad's Europe The important-sounding Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union has recently reiterated "its strong support for Ukraine's unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity." Poor, destabilized, post-putsch Ukraine is to be congratulated

    April 23, 2014

  • Facebook bank could be disrupting force The company that rebranded the word "friend" may soon take up a more ambitious makeover: the word "bank." Facebook is on the verge of winning approval from Ireland's central bank to allow its users to store and exchange money. The company's plans are

    April 23, 2014

  • Warren's call for student loan reform As commencement season approaches, graduating students will soon hear words of wisdom from speakers offering experience, advice and inspiration. One thing they're not likely to hear about is the $1.08 trillion elephant on the quad -- our nation's stu

    April 23, 2014

  • How we devalued the 'R' word At the risk of angering somebody like MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry, I sometimes used to joke that I only look white. Actually, I'm Irish. Meaning basically that I wasn't raised to think the man in the big house had all the answers, nor deserved all t

    April 22, 2014

  • Can Hillary rock the world? WASHINGTON -- There are few happier events than becoming a grandmother, and almost none that says quite so loudly "over the hill." Ageism mixed with sexism is a toxic brew, but somehow tolerated. It's a often-used joke, but not a funny one, that wome

    April 22, 2014

  • Losing hearts and minds Robert Kagan recently wrote that, foreign policy decision by foreign policy decision, President Barack Obama has given Americans what they say they want. But the result hasn't made them proud of America or of their president. The same phenomenon may

    April 22, 2014

  • I signed what? When Dr. Sam said, "You've got the prostate of a 16-year-old," it was hard to keep from beaming. This must be how a woman feels when a complete stranger tells her she has a beautiful baby. Well, maybe not quite. Still, it was hard not to feel proud o

    April 19, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks