News18: Maskhole, After Covidiots, is the Best Word to Define People with Reckless Behaviour in Pandemic. “Four months into the lockdown and continuous messages on how to be safe, the mask is still not finding its place. And now we do have a word for such people who defeat the purpose of masks. Maskhole is the word that The New Yorker has devised for such individuals.”
New York Times: A Short History of ‘Simp’. “The word ‘simp’ isn’t new. In fact, it’s pretty old. But it has been dragged into fresh popularity. In the same way that older songs can find new audiences on TikTok, older slang emerges on the app to be championed by a broader, younger audience.”
CNN: Twitter is removing ‘master,’ ‘slave’ and ‘blacklist’ from its code. “The language of computing is changing in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Twitter is dropping the terms ‘master,’ ‘slave’ and ‘blacklist’ from its code after two engineers lobbied for the use of more inclusive programming language. America’s biggest bank, JPMorgan Chase (JPM), is taking similar steps, according to media reports.”
Screen Rant: How To Find Made Up Words With Meaningless Definitions . “If you don’t know what Tendercake means then it is a cake or filling typically made with the flattened piece of fruit and cake eaten dry, according to an AI web tool that’s specifically designed to make up words. The website where the AI is located doesn’t only make up words, but also provides context through meaningless definitions and examples that makes them sound authentic. This is the just the latest example of how artificial intelligence is being used for new and novel purposes.”
Science Codex: Exploring the use of ‘stretchable’ words in social media. “An investigation of Twitter messages reveals new insights and tools for studying how people use stretched words, such as ‘duuuuude,’ ‘heyyyyy,’ or ‘noooooooo.’ Tyler Gray and colleagues at the University of Vermont in Burlington present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on May 27, 2020.”
Pelham Daily Voice: COVID-19: What’s A Covidiot? Why’s It Trending On Social Media?. “The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has led to sweeping changes across the country, and now, even a new term: ‘covidiot.’ According to Urban Dictionary, a covidiot is ‘someone who ignores the warnings regarding public health or safety. A person who hoards goods, denying them from their neighbors.'”
Vulture: Garbage Language: Why do corporations speak the way they do?. “Garbage language isn’t unique to start-ups; it’s endemic to business itself, and the form it takes tends to reflect the operating economic metaphors of its day. A 1911 book by Frederick Winslow Taylor called The Principles of Scientific Management borrows its language from manufacturing; men, like machines, are useful for their output and productive capacity. The conglomeration of companies in the 1950s and ’60s required organizations to address alienated employees who felt faceless amid a sea of identical gray-suited toilers, and managers were encouraged to create a climate conducive to human growth and to focus on the self-actualization needs of their employees. In the 1980s, garbage language smelled strongly of Wall Street: leverage, stakeholder, value-add. The rise of big tech brought us computing and gaming metaphors: bandwidth, hack, the concept of double-clicking on something, the concept of talking off-line, the concept of leveling up.” Long but interesting.
Phys .org: The use of jargon kills people’s interest in science, politics. “In a new study, people exposed to jargon when reading about subjects like self-driving cars and surgical robots later said they were less interested in science than others who read about the same topics, but without the use of specialized terms. They were also less likely to think they were good at science, felt less informed about science and felt less qualified to discuss science topics.”
CNET: Baby Yoda makes it onto Dictionary.com’s list of new slang. “If you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months and want to find out who Baby Yoda is, you can now look him up in the dictionary. Dictionary.com on Wednesday unveiled a list of new slang additions, which include OK boomer, VSCO girl and cancel culture.”
GenealogyBank: Genealogy 101: Using the Dictionary of American Regional English for Genealogy. “In this article – part of an ongoing ‘Introduction to Genealogy’ series – Gena Philibert-Ortega describes a helpful resource for genealogists, the ‘Dictionary of American Regional English,’ and how it can help with your family history research. Gena is a genealogist and author of the book ‘From the Family Kitchen.'”
The Guardian: Singular ‘they’ voted word of the decade by US linguists. “US linguists have chosen ‘they’ as their word of the decade, recognising the growing use of third-person plural pronouns as a singular form to refer to people who identify their gender as neither entirely male nor entirely female.”
CNET: Emoji, Uber and selfie: These 25 words describe the decade in tech. “Now I present 25 words, phrases and terms that tell the story of tech since 2010. Some explain deeply complex topics and others, well, are a bit frothier. So break out your dictionary and start marking in the margins, because these are the words added to our lexicon, or gaining new relevance.”
The Guardian: ‘Climate strike’ named 2019 word of the year by Collins Dictionary. “In a year when global protests over the climate crisis were staged from Afghanistan to Vietnam, Extinction Rebellion demonstrations stopped traffic in major cities and Greta Thunberg called for young people to skip school to fight political inaction, ‘climate strike’ has been named Collins Dictionary’s 2019 word of the year.”
Ars Technica: Because Internet makes a linguist’s case for l33t speak, other online-text fads. “The Internet has done good things to the English language. That’s the most important thing linguist Gretchen McCulloch has to say in her book, Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language. Though many prominent opinion-havers rage about the imminent death of the English language at the hands of emoji-wielding teenagers, the Internet has done no more harm to English than television, radio, or dime novels.”
Lifehacker: ‘Misinformation’ and ‘Disinformation’ Are Not the Same Thing. “If the past three years have seemed more like 300, the coming year is really about to test us all. The countdown to the 2020 election is about to begin and we’ve got to prepare ourselves for the onslaught of misinformation and disinformation—and it’s important to know the difference. Because they’re not the same thing.” A very short writeup about a pet peeve of mine. I hope she does one on the difference between data breaches and data leaks, because if you left a front-facing MongoDB instance on the Web, that was damn well not a data breach as opposed to a data leak.