Non-Word of the Month
(n.) - tolerance; all-inclusiveness. adjective, nonexcepting. Example: The slogan of this year's Martin Luther King holiday should be "nonexceptance, not nonacceptance".
NOTE: I get this non-word from a song by Greg Greenway entitled "Mussolini's Head", of which some of the lyrics run "liberty and justice for all, except you for the color of your skin, except you for what you believe, ..." These lyrics suggest that the word except is the source of hate. We all believe in liberty, but some believe that this means liberty except for those guys over there. It's like the final slogan from George Orwell's Animal Farm: "All animals are equal but some are more equal than others." So I developed this word nonexceptance to mean the attitude that when you say "liberty for all", you mean for all, with NO exceptions. Unfortunately, when I Google for "nonexceptance", I find in almost all cases that the user misuses the word except and then the word means the exact opposite of what I intend it to mean. So I repeat: "Nonexceptance, not nonacceptance!"
Non-words. These are sequences of letters (and sometimes digits and other characters) that do not form words, but which can be of value in expressing a concept in writing or speech. Sometimes words don't express what we mean to say. When we hit one of these occasions where the word we want does not exist, we stumble and become inept. With the use of a few non-words like these, maybe we can speak more eptly:
Dictionary words with new meanings
|Between the Falls||disaccumulate||halfbird||neptunocracy||quasicontradictory||undead||Christmas||septennium|
acronymese (n, adj) Text that contains many acronyms. Example: "Submit the WWW URL to your TCP/IP ISP to get a POP connection." is clearly acronymese.
administrivia (n) Small items that don't matter much when managing or adminstrating an enterprise; administrative trivia. Example: We can't get our job done because of all the administrivia we have to do!
ain't 1. am not. 2. (improper) is not 3. (improper) are not.
NOTE: People have condemned this non-word as non-standard. If so what is it supposed to be? I ai not going? I ain not going? Neither ai nor ain are words - though we could define them as non-words. (ai is a sloth, but that's something else) My guess is that it is a contraction for am not. We can say He isn't or He's not. We can say I'm not but not I amn't, unless you use the non-word amn't which I define below. I think that people found amn't so tongue-twisting that the m got dropped; hence ain't. Hence I ain't is proper, but strictly speaking, He ain't is not.
aliceinwonderlandic (adj.) Weird; unusual; going against logic or common sense; contradictory. Example: What are all these new icons on my computer? Something aliceinwonderlandic is going on here.
amn't (pronounced aymnt) am not. NOTE: This is such a tongue-twister, an m followed by an n followed by a t, that the m got dropped, giving us ain't (above).
attent (verb) to pay close attention to. (noun) focused contentration on some thing or idea. Example: I studied the problem with so much attent that I missed the meeting this afternoon.
barberpole (verb) To produce a line that goes diagonally downward in a column and wraps around to the other side, like the lines on a barber pole. Many printers' test pages barberpole when they print because the number of characters in the printer's character set is not the same as the length of a line of printed text.
barcarole, also barkarole (n) 1. The continual barking over long periods of time of a dog; hootenanny (see below). Example: "Ever since you got that mutt I have had to put up with its barcarole all day long!" 2. A place that stores or sells the outer covering of a tree. 3. (if spelled barcarole or barcarolle, this is the usual word meaning, but I am now saying spell it barkarole also) A song sung on a bark or other ship, especially a song with a rocking beat in 6/8 time sung on an Italian gondola.
bempal (adj) - labial; made with the lips; often applied to a consonant sound. The letters b, m, and p represent bempal sounds. Example: He is OK for the most part, but he spits when he utters a word containing a bempal sound.
NOTE: This word came about because another sound, that of d, n, and t,is referred to as dental, meaning that it is made with the teeth. But the three letters d, n, and t spell dental. If that is the case, then maybe the labial sounds of b, m, and p should form the word that describes them as well. Therefore the term bempal.
Between the Falls (prep. phrase) - Between 1989 November 10 and 2001 September 10, inclusive; between Wallfall (see) and Towerfall(see); or roughly, the 1990's. Example: The time Between The Falls will be remembered as a time of increasing freedom, prosperity, and chaos around the world.
billpayer (n) loser. Example: The billpayer in this agreement is the soldier in the field, who does not know when he receives supplies until they arrive.
bimillennophobia (n) There are various ways this could be spelled. It could mean fear of two thousand years, fear of one millennium occurring after another, or especially fear of the year 2000. It seems like our bimillennophobic fears may have been groundless.
bitter 1. (interj.) [used to imitate the ringing of a telephone]. Example: The phone went bitter! bitter! over and over again but no one answered it. 2. (adj.) to be in a room or place where a telephone is going bitter over and over again; phony (see definition below) 3. (v.i.) to ring, as a telephone. Example: Charlotte, the phone is bittering! 4. (v.t.) to make a phone ring; to call. Example: I bittered his phone but he did not answer.
blub (verb) I blub, he blubs, he is blubbing, he blubbed, he has blubbed. 1. To sink. (The Titanic blubbed.) 2. To make a sound like that of exhaling underwater. (He went underwater and blubbed a few times). (interjection) - [used to imitate the sound of exhaling underwater] (predicate adjective) under (as in water). The Titanic went blub.
bous (adj.) containing many buses, or pertaining to buses, or full of buses. (analogous to hydrous, with water; poisonous, full of poison). Note the difference between
The difference is that number 1 means that this is a place where buses stop, most likely to pick up and discharge passengers. It implies that this stop is for buses only. Number 2 means merely that this is a stop of some kind which has a lot of buses in it; it could be a place where cars stop to pick up car pool passengers, in an area which is usually full of buses. It does not imply that the stop is for buses to stop necessarily, although it could be such. Examples: I wait at this bus stop for the downtown bus every morning. On the way to the stop, I have to go through several bous areas and this delays my getting to the stop.
brack 1. (v.t.) to close or cut back (usually said of a base or installation). 2. (n.) an instance of closing or cutting back a base or installation. Example: People are wondering at this Army base whether it is going to be bracked or not. (from BRAC, an acronym that stands for Base Realignment And Closure committee, a group which determines in a fiscal year which US military bases are to be closed or realigned).
bugloon (n.) A balloon with an image and shape of a bug.
bushism (n.) - A mistake in content, grammar, or syntax made by President George W. Bush.
bzitz - 1. (interj.) (used to imitate the sound of lightning striking). Example: Bzitz! There goes my hard drive. Should have turned off this PC in the storm. 2. (verb) (of lightning) to strike. Example: Lightning just bzitzed two doors down - it was LOUD! 3. (n.) a lightning strike. Example: This storm produced 357 bzitzes in 30 minutes.
'cane (v.t.) (Atlantic and eastern Pacific) to hurricane (see below). Western Pacific, 'phoon; elsewhere, 'clone. Example: It is risky reserving a room for a vacation on the Outer Banks in August or September, because you could get 'caned.
cat puppy (modified noun) An oxymoron; a self-contradictory phrase. Example: You call this a minor crisis - sir, that's a cat puppy!
cheetlet (n.) a baby cheetah; cheetah cub.
chesterfield (vt) 1. to overrun with real estate developments. Example: My home county is nothing like it was when I was a child; it has been chesterfielded! 2. (Ray McAllister) "To waste prosperity or cause the ruin of something by failing to prepare adequately." 3. (Ray McAllister) "To approve indiscriminately." --(n) (Ray McAllister) "A good opportunity made bad from inadequate preparation, decision-making, or attention to details."
NOTE: This non-word turned up in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on 2004 January 19, where it was used to describe sprawling development in counties surrounding Richmond, Virginia, and in particular, New Kent County. The headline was "New Kent to Become Another Chesterfield?" This morning, Times-Dispatch columnist Ray McAllister devoted an entire column to this non-word, including three definitions for it, which I have identified above. All of them are metaphoric; I have provided in Definition 1 a more concrete meaning. They all come from Chesterfield County, Virginia, which sits south of Richmond and north of Petersburg. This once rural county has been invaded by developers from all over the place, running down forests so more and more people can cram into the Richmond, Virginia area. Much of this development was done without adequate municipal planning; hence some of Ray's definitions.
Will this non-word catch on? Let's apply Allan Metcalf's test to it, as given in his book "Predicting New Words". According to him, the FUDGE factors will determine whether chesterfield becomes a new word in our language. Here is how I rate the non-word: (F) Frequency of use - can't tell yet - give it a 1 for now, although "Chesterfield County" is frequently said in the Richmond area, but only in that area; (U) Unobstrusiveness - 2 points; seems ordinary enough. If the word had been chestevelop, it would have gotten 0, because that's too clever; (D) Diversity - perhaps 1 point, since Ray has made it apply to many situations in life, not just developing; (G) Generation of other forms and meanings - 1 point; there are only two forms, although more forms are possible such as chesterfieldly and a Chesterfield, meaning a supervisor on a county Board of Supervisors of a sprawled-out county; and (E) Endurance of the concept - give this one 2 points, because these developiots are going to continue to develop and develop until there isn't much wild land left, and so the non-word could be used to describe these developments. The total is 6, which means it's possible that it will enter the general language years from now, but it must be continuously used until then for that to happen. It's a good non-word, but I don't care for the activity which caused it to develop.
childery (n.) Sexual behavior between an adult and a child below the minimum age of consent. (by analogy with adultery). Example: A crisis has hit the Catholic Church due to some of its priests committing childery. Derived words: childerous (adj.).
Christmas (n.) A bountiful collection of gifts or other desired objects; a cornucopia. Example: When our computer products order came in, all the personnel were eager to open the box to get at the Christmas of software that lie within.
close encounters (n) plural, close encounterses or close encounters- A vehicle with an abnormal pattern of lights in front or in back. Example: I was annoyed today while driving home by the large number of close encounters that passed by shining their strange patterns of white lights in my face.
NOTE: I explain in my blog that this term comes from the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which certainly features vehicles with strange light patterns.
cometesimal (n.) A piece or fragment of a comet. Example: The fragments hitting Jupiter in 1994 July may have been cometesimals, but they still caused welts of damage the size of the Planet Earth.
compone (v) to comprise; to aggregate. Example: One he had all the parts on the floor, John fairly easily was able to compone them all into a machine to manufacture his product. (back formation from component)
constell (v) to form a constellation. Example: Betelgeuse constells with Rigel but not with Aldebaran.
craveable (adj). Also capable of being craved. Example: These snacks are more craveable than the main entree. Related word: craveability, n.
NOTE: This non-word was coined by Burger King in its new series of ads to describe its hamburgers. Adding -able to words is a good way of creating non-words all over the place, in particular, adjectives out of verbs: singable, danceable, hammerable, or even omninatable, from one of my non-words below. Doing it to my non-word dirige (below) yields the standard word dirigible.
definity An ending; a last one; closure. Example: "Sir, can you help get better definity?" This question was asked at my workplace recently.
dirige (v) to steer, drive, or direct. Example: The pilot can dirige this balloon; it's dirigible!
dirige (v) to steer, drive, or direct. Example: The pilot can dirige this balloon; it's dirigible!
disaccumulate (v) - to reverse the effects of accumulating; obtain individual data from rolled-up or accumulated data. Example: Don't try to get individual item data from this report by disaccumulating the data; it won't work; the information just isn't there. (NOTE: I had invented this word long ago, probably around 1990.)
doubledowner (n.) 1. someone who insists on doing something to his advantage despite the advice of someone who wants him to do something else, to that someone's advantage instead. 2. a person stubbornly determined to achieve his goals. (see tensplitter).
doubleyou (verb) I doubleyou, he doubleyous, I am doubleyouing, I doubleyoued. 1. To say a W. 2. To say a string of Ws. 3. To say WWWWWWWW..... fast so that you sound like your tongue is flapping in the wind. Example: The World Wide Web, with its www. URL web addresses, has all of humanity doubleyouing! Jim Jacobs used to doubleyou on WRVA.
Doubleyou also W, Dubyou, Dubya President George W. Bush. (from his middle initial to differentiate him from his father George Bush, 41st President of the United States). Example: "If Dubya wins, it will be no surprise."
downdatorium plural, downdatoriums or downdatoria (n) a place where one downloads files. Example: The music industry is not very appreciative of the downdatoriums that have appeared on the Internet.
easter (n) An unknown species of wild animal. No one has ever seen an easter, even those who go out on Easter Hunts each spring. Its eggs have been discovered; they resemble chicken eggs but are much more colorful and with more designs than chicken eggs usually have.
ebearient (adj.) unenthusiastic, apathetic, downbeat about the future, reserved. antonym, ebullient. (back formation, by analogy with bull and bear in the stock market). Example: It is easy to get ebullient when the stock market goes up and ebearient when it goes down, but you make the most money if your attitudes are just the opposite.
egibberate (v) also, gibberate. To make into gibberish. Example: Don't send the report as an attached Word document, because some mail readers will egibberate it.
elephant (n.) - An entity or object that appears different to different people because of the different aspects or orientations of these people. (taken from John Godfrey Saxe's The Blind Man and the Elephant, a poem in which an elephant appears as a snake, a wall, a rope, and so forth depending on which part of the elephant the blind man is touching.)
Example: The country of Deutschland and its people are an elephant, because the French see these people as allemand, English speakers as Germans, Spanish as alemanes, Italians as tedesco, Finns as saksa, Russians as nemetsky, and so forth.
fantastiwedbesdo (adj, interj) (pronounced fan-tas-ti-webs-doe) Fantastiwednesdo! Used to describe a meeting on Wednesday concerning the World Wide Web that turned out exceptionally good.
fantastiwednesdo (adj, interj) Fantastically good! Great World! Fantastimondo! Except that the word can be used only on Wednesday, whereas you say fantastimondo on Monday. Former radio announcer Jim Jacobs of WRVA, Richmond, Virginia, used this word, along with fantastituesdo, fantastithursdo, fantastifrido, fantastisaturdo, and fantastisundo.
flatrack(n.) [definition from USAPA at Ft Belvoir] Topless, sideless (International Organization for Standardization) container. When loaded side-by-side in containership cells, multiple flatracks can be used between [ship] decks to accommodate over-width cargo.
NOTE: This word is used frequently in industrial settings including those of the military, but I find it surprising that it is in no common dictionary that I could find! It is a good non-word, since it aptly describes what it is - a low-lying flat rack upon which cargo can be loaded.
frontground (n.) foreground. NOTE: The opposite of back is front, not fore. So why is the opposite of background foreground? Shouldn't it be frontground?
gabguy (n.) A person who talks a lot; blabbermouth. Example: I'm not going; these parties are always dominated by a bunch of gabguys.
glory (n.) "a knock-down drag-out fight" (from Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll). Example: An argument over a lottery ticket between Joe and Stan quickly turned into a glory between them.
NOTE: When Alice complained that glory does not mean "a knock-down drag-out fight", Humpty Dumpty replied, "When I use a word, I use it to mean exactly what I want it to mean, no more, no less." OK, except that the purpose of language is to make oneself understood.
gödelize or goedelize; (sometimes cap.) 1. (verb intrans.) (of a democracy) to become a dictatorship through popular election of leaders who turn the democracy into a dictatorship. 2. (verb trans.) to make into a dictatorship through the election of dictatorial leaders.
NOTE: The word derives from the mathematician Kurt Gödel, who proved that any mathematical theory containing number theory must contain statements unprovable in the theory, proved that one can't disprove the Continuum Hypotheses, and found a solution to Einstein's equations that imply the possibility of time travel. This term derives from the proceedings in which he became an American citizen (he was born in Austria). He was asked if he knew about the US Constitution. He replied that he did, but he also showed that there was a flaw in the Constitution, that it allows for the election of a dictator. Gödel passed the exam and became an American citizen anyway. I derive this term from him for a democracy that chooses to become a dictatorship.
goingaway (adj.) (usually of a party) farewell. Example: Jack has taken a job with a higher salary 600 miles away, so he is leaving us; be sure to come to a goingaway party for him on March 14 at Abigail's.
google (v.) To search for information on using a search engine on the Internet, especially Google. Example: John did not put the entire story out on the web for fear that people, such as dates and clients, could google him.
gorm (n) - (back formation from gormless) 1. Intelligence. 2. Axle grease. Examples: He hasn't enough gorm to come in from out of the rain!. Our newest employee turned out to have a lot of gorm.
NOTE: I recently encountered the word gormless in an article on the Internet. I looked it up and found that it is mostly a British English word, and that it means "stupid". I tried looking up gorm and did not find it, except for an old 1913 dictionary which defined it as axle grease. So therefore it is my newest non-word. Although I would think that there would be more to human intelligence than axle grease in the brain.
gotch (v., gotched, gotching) - To surprise with a remark that negates or usurps a remark that had just been made. Example: The presenter was showing an algorithm for doing searches graphically when someone in the audience gotched him with an actual computer program that incorporated that very algorithm. (from "got'cha").
green flower, or greenflower. 1. A flower that is green. 2. A concept, idea or feature that is beyond something that is already beyond something that has a concept similar to the original concept. Example: The concept of God as the natural divine in us all, as a Mother Earth, is a green flower, since it is beyond the confines of pure reason, which does not see the need for God, which is in turn beyond the traditional view of a separate Creator of the Universe as in the Jewish or Christian God or Islamic Allah, which like Mother Earth, is a supreme diety.
NOTE: This concept came to me as I was studying Spiral Dynamics , with its staircase of paradigms or memes, which are arbitrarily given colors. I name this concept green flower, since a flower is above and stands out among leaves by being a different color than green to attract the bees, and since a green flower is not only beyond leaves (subtly) but also beyond flowers, as it has a color the other flowers don't have, and since it reflects in itself the underlying leaves behind the flower. The Mother Earth or Gaia view of God (or Goddess) is from the green meme, which is above the orange meme, which does not believe in or has no need for a God, which in turn is above the blue meme of the traditional Jewish, Christian or Islamic God. See my SUUSI 2004 page for more of my impressions of green flowers. Note that I have also defined the word as run together: greenflower, because it is a color, and the memes are colors, giving rise to such confusing terms as orange green flower or green green flower. In this case, the meaning becomes clear if we say orange greenflower and green greenflower.
halfbird (n) 1. half of a bird or aircraft 2. a bird or aircraft with only one wing 3. something that is lower or is half of something that is denoted by a bird or aircraft. 4. (US Armed Forces) a lieutenant colonel. Example: The meeting was attended by one full-bird colonel and several halfbirds.
headlineish (adj.) (of a sentence, word, or phrase) suitable for the headline of a newspaper. Example: "No, don't say 'The Dow changes by -3.4%' That isn't headlineish!" NOTE: This non-word was created by Kathleen Parker, a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel, in her column of 2002 June 23, entitled "Worst Moment in our History Needs a More Descriptive Name."
himmicane(n.) - a male hurricane, or a hurricane with a man's name. Example: Dennis may be coming in a couple of days; put out the himmicane warnings!
hippopotamous (adj.) cumbersomely huge; ponderous. Example: "One hippopotami cannot get on a bus, 'cause one hippopotami is too hippopotamous!" - Allen Sherman, Plurals. Derived non-word: hippopotamously, adv. NOTE: hearing "hippo" or "potamus" reminds people of hippopotamuses (or hippopotami), but actually "hippo" means horse, and "potamus" means river; a hippopotamus is a river horse. See below for theopotamus and theohippus, two non-words that have nothing to do with hippopotamuses.
honorous (n) (adjective made out of the noun "honor"; by analogy with onerous)an honor code or policy that is perceived as being burdensome or stressful by the people the code or policy applies to. Example: Cadets at Virginia Military Institute have reported that the honor code there is honorous.
hoot (v.) - to bark. Example: Most people say that a dog barks and goes "bark, bark, bark", but if you listen to the Baha Men sing "Who let the dogs out?", you would think that dogs hoot instead. "Hoot, hoot, hoot!".
derived words: hoot (interj.) [used to imitate the bark of a dog by going "Hooot!"]; hootenanny (n.) - the continual barking all day long of a dog; barcarole (see non-word definition above).
hurricane(v.t. , hurricanes, hurricaned, hurricaning) (western Pacific, typhoon; elsewhere, cyclone) to strike, storm, destroy, as a hurricane. Example: The structure stood for over 300 years near Homestead, Florida, until it got hurricaned by Andrew.
imperable (adj.) - imperative and impossible. Example: It is imperable that Joan be here at 8 o'clock in the morning; our project won't succeed unless she is here by then, but she is in California and won't arrive here by plane until an hour later.
NOTE: I found this oxymoron in a recent email. The speaker was apparently trying to mean imperative, but in doing so with a non-word that ends like impossible, he may have been showing his belief that his efforts are futile.
incendy (n., plural, incendies) - a fire; an instance of a fire, as opposed to the concept fire or the substantive noun fire. Example: The hot, dry, windy weather has threatened fire for some time now, but only today have actual incendies broken out. (from incendi-, latin root; c.f., Spanish incendio.) Derived non-words and words: to incend - to set a fire; incendious - full of fires or fiery; incendiary (regular dictionary word) - inflammatory; incendation - arson.
NOTE: It is surprising that incendiary is a word; that there are many words in English of French and Latin origin; that incendie (French) and incendio (Spanish) are words for fire, but that there is no English cognate for them. This non-word makes up for this deficiency.
infrare (v), also infrar (pronounced in-frayer' or in'-fra-re, with "re" pronounced as in red) to make or turn into an infrared color or wavelength.(back formation from the adjective infrared, which looks like the past tense of some verb.) Example: The cooling embers infrared as they ceased to glow.
joviocracy (n.) - A government that treats every day as a holiday, or one that is concerned more about its own pleasures than about the welfare of the people. Example: How did ancient Rome evolve from a democracy to a joviocracy?
L7 (adj.) 1. square; having an overly conventional outlook. Example: (from the lyrics of Wooly Bully, by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs) Hattie told Mattie, Let's not take no chance, Let's not be L7, Come and learn to dance. 2. one in ten million.
NOTE: The word square, meaning old-fashioned in outlook, was popular in the 1950's and 1960's, when people who did not like all the new song and dance fads were regarded as "square". L7 (featured in the lyrics of Wooly Bully) means square because it looks like you write down two edges of the square with the L and the other two with the 7, requiring a straight descender on the 7. A much more positive meaning to L7, namely, one in ten million, can be found in my article "Logarithms keep Dr. Brown in Perspective".
logonomen (n.) - A word or non-word created from a person's name.(from logo-, word and -nomen, name) Example: Some logonomens are Marxism, spoonerism, gerrymander, zeppelin, algorithm, and mcallister.
NOTE: My last non-word was one that was created in the Richmond, Virginia area, namely chesterfield. Ray McAllister, a columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, took this word and formalized its definition, writing an article about it. Mark Fausz, the editor of a hometown newspaper in Chesterfield County, returned the favor by defining a new non-word mcallister, and referring to the appearance of chesterfield in this page. I then realized that this word was coined out of a person's name, so I created a non-word to symbolize that concept. It made me realize that many words that we use come originally from person's names, such as Marxism from Karl Marx and gerrymander from Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry. You can find Fausz' definition of mcallister below, and oh, yes. Algorithm comes from a mathematician from the Middle East named Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, not from Al Gore.
magrittian (adj) (pronounced ma-gri'-she-un) 1. pertaining to an item presenting, usually through two different media, two directly contradictory messages. 2. A statement that by the very act of its stating in the context in which it is stated, means the direct opposite of what it says. Example: One of the most magrittian sentences ever uttered by a President was "I am not a crook.", by President Richard M. Nixon.
NOTE: The painting by René Magritte featuring a pipe and a message "ceci ne pas une pipe" ("this is not a pipe), is one of the most thought-provoking I have seen. I first saw it in Douglas Hofstadter's book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, in which Mr. Hofstadter used it to express the difference between seeing a picture of an object and seeing the real thing, if indeed that real thing is real. Part of the understanding of life that I have acquired in my lifetime was understanding that reality is littered with megrittian things: crooks who deny their crimes, signs that say the opposite of what they mean, Wizards of Oz ("Please don't look behind the curtain") and so forth. It makes it hard to trust people and things and blurs the line between real and surreal. Before you feel certain about something, look at Megritte's painting and think again.
mcallister (Mc owl IS ter) (vt.) - (this definition by Mark Fausz after columnist Ray McAllister) - 1. The act of focusing on the negative side of an issue. 2. taking an easy shot without regard for opposing opinion. 3. taking an opportunity to highlight the mismoves of one community over another.
NOTE: This non-word appeared in a column in the Chester Village News of 2004 Jan 29. I do note that the third definition could be simplified to: "highlighting the mismoves of one community over another".
mebibyte (n.) - 1,048,576 bytes; 220 bytes. Example: An Iomega Zip Disk holds 100 mebibytes. Note: The International System of Units says it is wrong to call 1,048,576 bytes a megabyte; mega- should be reserved to mean a million (1,000,000) and a million only. So they invented a different set of units, by inserting bi for the second syllable. So 1,048,576 bytes is a mebibyte. amd 1,000,000 bytes is a megabyte. A gibibyte, then is 230 bytes, which is about 1.0737 gigabytes.
meeting (verb) I meeting, he meetings, I am meetinging, I meetinged. 1. To hold a meeting. 2. to attend a meeting. Example: I meetinged this morning at lunch with Joe and made final arrangements for tomorrow's conference.
martiocracy (n.) - 1. A government by those who want to wage war. 2. A military government; junta. Example: There have been a number of times when a democratically elected government was overthrown by another power, with the result being a repressive martiocracy. (marti - Mars, god of war + -ocracy, government)
mercurocracy (n.) - A government by businesses or by people with a business rather than a public service background. Example: If more business people and people with ties to Big Business get elected to national office, this country will become a mercurocracy!
misunderestimate (v.) - (bushism) - To make an error in underestimating a quantity; to overestimate or to estimate correctly something when one intends to underestimate instead. NOTE: I doubt President Bush had this in mind when he used this bushism.
neither...nand (prepositional construction) perhaps neither of them, or one or the other, but not both. (by analogy with neither...nor, which means neither of them; uses and instead of or.) Example: Neither Jack nand Jane should show up at the meeting, since the organizers require only one delegate from each unit.
neptunocracy - A governing body for people that live or are primarily out over the oceans, or a nation that consists of an archipelago of islands. Example: The U.S. Sixth Fleet is a veritable neptunocracy.
noexist (n, adj, interj) This is good to use as a name for something that does not exist. For example, to test whether a software program will successfully report that a given search item cannot be found, give it "noexist". I don't know of any buildings, people, books, or other things that are named "noexist", and the word says what it is, so it is good to use as a test name. Also use as an adjective, as in, "That exit you told me to take is not there! It's a noexist exit!"
WARNING: The web site http://www.noexist.com exists! Whoever created it created an oxymoron, but it does exist; it can no longer be used for a web site that does not exist.
nonlinear (n) 1. angry. (Microsoft seems to have created this non-word) 2. amorphous or scattered; without order. Example: Vietnam was a nonlinear battlefield.
NOTE: "Nonlinear" is often misused. It means "not linear"; i.e., not in a straight line, and it is most properly used to describe a mathematical function. An example I heard of recently is saying that modern physics, especially relativity and quantum theory, is nonlinear, while Newtonian physics is linear. No. Newtonian physics is nonlinear since it deals with quadratic functions; e.g., the equation for gravitational attraction between two bodies.
A clarification: Someone pointed out to me that Newtonian physics can be described by linear differential equations. However, these equations are linear because of the form of the differential equation; typically the solutions of these equations are nonlinear functions such as exp(x). So in a sense Newtonian physics is both linear and nonlinear.
nongame (n.) 1. Anything that is not a game. 2. A game that was not played. Example: The recent football contest between Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech turned into a nongame when spectators viewed a nearby bolt of lightning and a deluge followed.
northist Discriminating in favor of northern people, countries, or regions.
O7 (pronounced oh-seven) (adj.) - 1. Continuously; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; 24/7. Example: The only O7 store in town is the 7-11. 2. Working very late into the evening or even into the morning. Example: I am willing to help and perhaps work a little late, but I am unwilling to go O7 on this project. 3. a brigadier general. 4. the spectral type of an unusually large and bright star.
NOTE: The O in O7 is not a zero! In fact, O stands for 24. The digits are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Conventionally when one wants more digits, as with hexadecimal notation, one uses letters. Therefore, A is 10, B is 11, and so forth up to F is 15. But this can be continued to give more digits. Hence G is 16 (not H for hexadecimal, but G), H is 17, ..., K is 20, and then O is 24. So there are O hours in a day, and the expression O7 comes from that. Note that on a telephone, O is 6 instead (MNO are 6), so that if you say six two two two oh four four, you mean 622-2O44, which is 622-2644, not 622-2044.
obb (v) I obb, he obbs, I am obbing, I obbed, I have obbed. Verb. 1. to overcome by events (the same meaning as "OBE", overcome by events) 2. to make obsolete. Example: we must get this update into the brochure before it becomes obbed by a possible merger.
omninate (v) 1. To cover everything, to be over everything, to be all over the place. (from omni-, as in omniscient) Example: It's impossible to omninate this subject in only a one-week course, but I hope you all get the feeling for what it is like to be a Pascal programmer.
NOTE: Don't confuse with ominate!
ominate (v) to threaten or come towards ominously. Example: It may be a sunny day but I see dark clouds ominating on the western horizon. NOTE: This is a good word to use instead of the much overused loom. Instead of saying "War with Iraq looms.", say instead "War with Iraq ominates".
ominiculous (adj) ominous and ridiculous. Example: The recent waves of media circuses such as those on Britney Spears, O.J. Simpson, and Michael Jackson are ominiculous. They don't prove anything, but they do foretell of adverse events to come.
ornithoid (n.) 1. a dinosaur. 2. a bird. 3. any bird-like animal.
NOTE: The traditional word for the dominant and sometimes giant animals that lived on our planet during the Mesozoic age is "dinosaur" which means (dino-) terrible (-saur) lizard. I believe these creatures were for the most part not terrible; many of them ate grass and leaves and wanted to leave peacefully. Further, recent research has shown that the -saur part, meaning lizard, is not correct. Dinosaurs were not lizards; they were dinosaurs, and birds are descended from them. Since dinosaurs are more related to birds than to lizards, the name "ornithoid", meaning "like a bird", is more appropriate for these animals, including, of course, present-day birds.
oversight (n) a global view; seeing everything. To have oversight - to supervise or manage, especially over everything. Not recommended. NOTE! This is the opposite of the usual meaning, which implies missing something!
pastburner (n.) A person who gets rid of most of his or her stuff that is out of date. Antonym, packrat.(past- + -burner, someone who burns the past). Example: We tried to find her birth certificate, but she does not treasure that stuff; she's a pastburner. We could not find it; she must have thrown it out.
peacefight (n) a struggle or effort to achieve peace. Example: President Clinton has continued a peacefight for several months now in the Mideast. Antonym: warfight.
NOTE: The redundant word warfight is used frequently in the military; it implies the existence of an opposite, namely peacefight, which is an oxymoron.
phony (adj.) 1. in a room or place where a phone is ringing. 2. to be talking on the phone. Example: I tried to see Mr. Buxton, but when I got to his office, I saw he was phony, so I had to wait until he put the receiver down.
picturese (n, adj) Text on signs and in instructions substituting for written text with the intent of making the instruction clear to people who speak any language. Example: I don't understand these instructions! I would understand them if they were in German, Spanish, or French but not in picturese!
pipsqueak (n.)An airplane smaller than a DC-3. Example: The Boeing 747 swerved hard, injuring several passengers, to avoid a pipsqueak that had inadvertenly wandered into its path.
Planeattack (n.) The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and southern Pennsylvania on 2001 September 11. Example: On 2002 September 11, many services will remember those who died in Planeattack last year.
NOTE: Finding a good name for this tragedy is difficult. Most people simply say 9/11 or September 11, which causes confusion. On September 12, someone could refer to September 11, meaning yesterday, and the listener will understand the terrorist attacks instead. 911 means emergency, of any type, so this could also cause confusion. Besides, it is not very pleasant for those whose birthday is September 11. So a different name is needed. Attack on America is ambiguous, as Pearl Harbor was an Attack on America. I tried Towerfall once, but that refers only to the events in New York. I came up with Planeattack, since it emphasizes that it was an attack on the USA by planes; the planes themselves instead of objects coming from the planes, as in 1941. So that is what I shall be calling it from now on. Addendum 2004 Aug 14: I now call these events 9/11, in honor of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, as this title of this movie would not make sense if the events were called Planeattack. I now consider both Planeattack and 9/11 proper names for the 2001 attacks, but not September 11.
porpoise - (v) I porpoise, it porpoises, it porpoised, it is porpoising. 1. To behave like a porpoise or dolphin. 2. To go up, then down, then up, then down, like the jumping up and down of a porpoise in the sea. Example - After an malfunction caused the oxygen in the jet to escape and caused the passengers to pass out, the airplane continued to travel, porpoising as it did so, until it ran out of fuel and crashed.
powerpointology (n.) - The art of making good computerized presentations, especially through Microsoft's Power Point program. Example: To get our point across next week, we need to apply some powerpointology to our work.
Related words: powerpoint (v.), to create a Microsoft Power Point presentation; Power Point Ranger (after the children's heroes), an expert at creating Power Point presentations, especially fancy and megabyte-hungry ones.
prebangian - (adj.) or pre-bangian. Of, concerning, or about events that happened before the Big Bang that started the universe. Example: At one time astronomers thought that prebangian events made as much sense as locations north of the North Pole, but now they are not so sure:
NOTE: This non-word was used by Scientific American in its 2004 May issue, and in fact devote an entire article on the possibility of events before the Big Bang that started everything; in other words, on prebangian times.
premillennium (adj.) - before the turn of a millennium, especially now, before the year 2000. Example: We need to replace all these obsolete, premillennium computers!
NOTE: I have seen this non-word in at least one science-fiction novel.
prequel (n.) An episode or story happening before a given episode or story; antonym of "sequel", coined by the new Star Wars movie, which presented Episode 1 after Episodes 4-6.
proact (v.) to act to influence events rather than have events influence you; to anticipate. Example: The project finished on time after Jack proacted on several difficulties he anticipated. Derived nonwords: proaction - (n.)anticipation; initiative; proactive (now a dictionary word) - to influence events rather than have events influence you. NOTE: If we have reactive and react, then why not proactive and especially proact?
propone To be the primary or proposing agent of. Example: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) propones weather forecasting in this country.
quasicontradictory (adj.) Descrepant, or going against each other, but technically not logically contradictory. Example: President Bush's call to reduce the size of the Federal deficit and his call for more financial aid for Iraq are quasicontradictory.
NOTE: I had created this non-word long ago, but first I had it as contradictolescent, by analogy to obsolescent and obsolete. I then realized that this analogy is not perfect, since something that is obsolescent is on its way to being obsolete, but something that is contradictolescent can't be thought of as on its way to becoming contradictory. Either something is contradictory or it isn't. So I changed it to quasicontradictory, which implies no action or becoming.
relatension (n) Seasonal stress caused by the impending arrival of extended family for a holiday celebration; especially elicited by those who have a history of causing strife, trauma, and general discord. "My mother-in-law's inevitable dissatisfaction with my Thanksgiving-day cooking is an annual source of relatension." (from an email blurb)
rerere (v., I rerere, he rereres, I rerered, I am rerereing; pronounced ree-ree-ree) 1. By frequent replies and forwardings, to cause a string of "Re: "s to form in the subject, as in "Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: My trip home yesterday". 2. (sometimes used with "up") To have an email conversation by sending emails back and forth and hitting "reply" on each reply. Example: The discussion on the list server got pretty heated yesterday; several senders were rerereing it up pretty long into the night.
rurale (adj) crude; uncouth; boorish; naively blunt. (by analogy with urbane) Example: The hostess of the party was taken aback by the rurale behavior of the two young men in cowboy suits. antonym, urbane. adverb, ruralely.
saturnocracy (n) - A government by older people; gerontocracy. Example: China in the 1970's and 1980's was a saturnocracy.
scroogy adj. Stingy; hard-headed; not willing to give the other guy a break. This word appeared at a recent Toastmasters meeting wherein the Grammarian pointed the use of it out to us. I think it is a good word to use for someone who won't cooperate with you or give you a break, especially at Yuletide time.
selecty (adj) Tending to make one or forcing one to select something, especially with a computer mouse. Example: Microsoft Excel is selecty because you have to select a range of cells with the mouse before you can do anything with it.
septennium (n.) 1. A period of seven years. 2. gold.
Now that the year 2000 has come, it might be good to look at millennium words (remember, double "l" and "n"). There is "biennium" which is a period of 2 years, and "triennium" for 3 years, and so forth. In that case, since sept- means seven, a septennium is a period of 7 years. I have not found this non-word in most dictionaries, however.
But there is yet another possible meaning for this non-word. Chemists have come up with a system for naming new elements. They have adopted syllables, as un- for 1, nil- for 0, pent- for 5 and so forth. Thus element 105 (now known as Dubnium) was originally called unnilpentium. Why not name old elements after this system, then? For example, now we know that Intel's pentium chips are made up of boron, element number 5. And this also gives a new meaning to "septennium". Since sept- is 7 and enn- is 9, septennium must be element number 79; i.e., gold! So remember that your 14-karat septennium wedding ring was built to last a hundred septennia.
slove (v.) to be untidy in dress or appearance or to be careless or negligent. Example: Just because we have a relaxed dress code here at work is no excuse to slove around here.
NOTE: This non-word's derivatives are all bona-fide dictionary words! They are sloven, having a tendency to slove, or to be untidy in dress or appearance or careless and slovenly, untidy in dress or appearance or careless.
stovepipe A link between two entities; for example, two disciplines or two offices, especially one of a group of links from widely disparate sources. Example: The idea behind this new software is that it is a single seamless entity instead of a collection of individual stovepipes.
soundbiteful (n.) a tersely worded phrase; enough to make a sound bite. Example: Whatever phrase we select to describe our party, it must be soundbiteful.
NOTE: This non-word was created by Kathleen Parker, a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel, in her column of 2002 June 23, entitled "Worst Moment in our History Needs a More Descriptive Name." She was describing the terrorist attacks of 2001 9/11 and is offering readers to come up with a better name. She says this name should be headlineish (see above) and soundbiteful.
south (adj) disparaging down. (I have seen this term used a lot, especially by weather broadcasters. It stems from maps on walls where south geographically is down on the wall. I regard it as a northist expression, since I don't know if people who live in the South (southern US, Australia, etc.) would interpret "south" in this manner. An Australian may very well describe an ailing world economy as going north!)
spectrum (n) a wide variety, or simply a large collection. Example: We are not given a very wide spectrum of parking places to choose from.
suballegiance (n.) - pledging allegiance to an entity lower than another entity. Example: Robert E. Lee's suballegiance to Virginia over the United States led to his fighting with the Confederacy during the Civil War.
superennery (adj.) greater than nine. Examples: Generally alphabet letters are used for superennery digits, starting first with capital letters then with small ones. The "E" in the hexadecimal number 4E852 is a superennery digit denoting fourteen.
sylvanshine(n.) Nighttime iridescence of certain forest trees, such as the blue spruce. Example: On my trip home from the summer conference, I was amazed to see all these trees by the side of the road shining as though they had snow on them as I drove past them, until someone told me that it was sylvanshine.
NOTE: I found out about this word from a recent book that I purchased, Predicting New Words, by Allan Metcalf. I heartily recommend this book; it gives some light on how the English language is transforming. The word was coined after someone saw the trees in the distance shine at him. According to the book, the word died out and it is not in dictionaries. It is a beautiful word. Shall we do something about it? Let's use it! When you see trees shining in the distance, say sylvanshine. It's a better non-word than weapons-grade, meaning of superior quality, which the author says is likely to become part of our language, but which reveals the violence undercutting our society.
tensplitter (n) - 1. Someone who tries to get you to do something, which is to his or her advantage, whereas it is to your advantage to do something else. 2. shyster, flim-flam artist.
NOTE: This nonword is from a story I read in a book about playing blackjack. Someone was playing blackjack in a Las Vegas casino. He counted the aces and after 51 cards were played, he had noticed only 3 aces had turned up. There was only one card to be played, and he held a pair of tens. The casino employees tried to get him to split his tens, which means separate them into two different hands and play them separately. That may or may not have won. However, in this circumstance, the best strategy for our protagonist was to "double down", meaning to double your bet and ask for exactly one more card. Eventually he got his way and the card was turned over to reveal an ace, at which point the casino paid him his large bet doubled and threw him out. The non-word tensplitter derives from this story and refers to the casino employees. Nowadays, several decks are shuffled, reducing drastically the chance this could happen. See also doubledowner, below.
terraocracy (n.) - (terra- , Earth + -ocracy, government) an ecologically concerned government. Example: If a terraocracy were to take power, our oil consumption might drop dramatically.
theohippus (n.) - a horse god. Poseidon was God of the Sea, but he was also a theohippus, the God of Horses.
theopotamus (n.) pl. theopotami, theopotamuses. A river god. Example: I lost my diamond necklace in the whitewater rafting trip; it broke and fell off and then the theopotami got it!
NOTE: Most people, when they hear this non-word, will have mental images of hippopotamuses. The same would happen with the non-word theohippus (above), which means a horse god. Neither "hippo" nor "potamus" has anything intrinsically to do with hippopotami. The word "hippopotamus" has been so much associated with that big lumbering animal that most people have forgotten that it means "river horse", although I don't know who would confuse such an animal with a horse.
titanic (adj) - failing; one that fails. (from the ship Titanic, which blubbed (q.v.) or sank in 1912.) Example: He said in his speech that the project would be a titanic struggle, which got questioning looks from an audience who understood that to mean the project was destined to fail.
Toastmaster (as a verb) (v) I Toastmaster, he Toastmasters, I Toastmastered, I have Toastmastered. Can mean (1) serve as Toastmaster of the day, (2) make into a Toastmaster Club, and (3) possibly some other meanings. For example, "Last week's meeting was Toastmastered by John Smith."
Towerfall (n.) - The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on 2001 September 11. Example: It must be remembered that the 9/11 attacks not only consisted of Towerfall, but of the attack on the Pentagon and the airliner crash in Pennsylvania on the same day as well. NOTE: This non-word is not good for describing the 9/11 attacks, as this sentence suggests. I have a better non-word, which I will reveal later.
typhicane (n.) - a tropical storm with sustained winds over 74 miles per hour that straddles the International Date Line. The eastern side of a typhicane is a hurricane, and the western side is a typhoon. Example: The hurricane side of a typhicane usually has the most damaging winds. (from typhoon + hurricane, as Pacific tropical storms west of the International Date Line are called typhoons and east of it are called hurricanes.)
undead (adj.) alive, especially in a transmogrified form after apparent death. Example: Shelley screamed when Tommy climged out of his above-ground crypt undead.
ungavel (v). To adjourn a meeting with a strike of the gavel. Example: Discussion was abruptly halted when the chairman ungaveled the meeting.
updatorium (n) A place where one can upload files.
uranocracy (n) (urano-, sky + -ocracy, government) A government that promises more than it can achieve; one that offers "pie in the sky".
vendeteria(n) A cafeteria consisting of a collection of vending machines. Example: All this place can afford for a cafeteria is this vendeteria!
venerocracy (n) Government by a group of people preoccupied with sex. 2. A government asserting control by telling the populace how much its government and its officials love the common people.
volatile (adj.) 1. (of the stock market, a stock or a stock index) down. 2. (of commodity prices) up.
NOTE: These two meanings are direct opposites of each other! But that is the way I hear people use them. Financial analyists and people in the media never refer to a volatile market unless the market is going generally down. If it is going up 40 points then down 20, then up 350 then down 80 then up 120, they don't say it's volatile; they just say the bulls are in charge. But it is the opposite way with petroleum prices. If they are volatile, that means they are going up. In short, the word volatile should not be used to describe any kind of a monetary amount unless it can be shown statistically (the variation large compared with the mean) that it is the case. This non-word is as the media uses it but I would not recommend using the word in this manner.
volt (v.) (he volts, he volted, he is volting). To pass a lot of volts through. Example: After trying innumerable times through the day, the boy finally got the kite in the air; unfortunately, it hit power lines and the boy was volted.
Wallfall (n.) 1. The fall of the Berlin Wall on 1989 November 9; 11/9. 2. The associated wave of freedom around the world and the paradigm shifts that this event required of all of us. Example: My life changed a lot after Wallfall; things did not seem the same after that.
NOTE: I hardly hear this non-word in America, but it is used frequently (in English) in the country that it pertained to the most: Germany.
waterfront (n) spectrum (above). Example: This briefing on the new propulsion system covers the waterfront on aspects of the system.
weapons-grade (adj.) 1. Of high enough quality to be used as a weapon; usually said of such things as microbes that cause disease such as anthrax. 2. Anything of superior quality. Meaning 2 not recommended, although Allen Metcalf (Predicting New Words), says it will become part of our vocabulary. There is no reason to bring something violent into a concept, such as high quality, that does not have violence inherent in it.
Wedbesday (n) (pronounced webs-day) 1. A Wednesday on which something special concerning the World Wide Web occurs. 2. A meeting on the Web held on a Wednesday.
whaaa 1. (pron., interj.) what; uttered with so much surprise that the mouth does not close to form the final t sound. Example: The first thing he said when he entered the building and found the hippopotamus in his office was "Whaaa???" 2. adj. unknown; not adhering to expectations. The whaaa entries, the ones containing the huge negative figures, were traced to a programming error. 3. n. Something unexpected. A big Whaaa?? happened last night.
xonawatt (n.) (pronounced ksah'-nuh-wat) - 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 watts; 1027 watts; one octillion watts; 1,000 yottawatts. Example: Many bright stars in the universe put out power exceeding one xonawatt; our small sun only does 0.38 xonawatt or 380 yottawatts.
NOTE 1: Notice that I say it should be pronounced ksah'-nuh-wat, not zah'-nuh-wat. X stands for the ks sound as in fox or excel, so why should we change its pronunciation when it is at the beginning of a word? The instrument that you play by hitting wood with a mallot is a ksay'-loh-fohn, for instance. Fast talking and laziness are the main reasons why people pronounce x at the beginning of a word as z.
NOTE 2: The International System of Units, or SI, is a set of standard prefixes to put on units of measure to multiply or divide them by powers of a thousand, or, more rarely, ten. The system originally stopped at tera, meaning 1012. It then had to expand because many things in nature are much more than a trillion. So came peta and exa, getting up to 1018. Someone then had difficulty because they were dealing with ten-thousandths of an attowatt (10-18), so the system went to zetta and yotta, now reaching 1024 and its inverse. I found out recently that the sun puts out 380 yottawatts. That is close to exceeding even this system, so I think a new set of units is needed. Why not go all out on this, then? I have a system that will go all the way to 1063. Whether or not the international standards will adopt my endings is still up in the air; we still need something to measure the energy output of Sirius or Vega.
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