Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Sep 26

By any other name

I love to put words together and make new words. I do it all the time. For example, I might ask a friend for his techspertise. In fact, one thing that I often do it put words together and mix up the syllables until I find the perfect combination. I can never actually remember the word for what that is — it’s a portmanteau. It’s like making cutesy celebrity couple names but it’s more awesome because there’s no silly actors involved and, well, there’s me!

It’s crazy to think that wordplay like that can result in a new entry in the dictionary. In fact, reading the list of new words that make it to the dictionary almost makes me cringe. Consider these:

  • bitcoin — a form of digital currency
  • vom — short for vomit (ew)
  • apols — pural shortening of apologies
  • blondie — the light version of a brownie (yum!)
  • BYOD — bring your own device
  • derp — “speech regarded as meaningless or stupid, or to comment on a foolish or stupid action”
  • fauxhawk — hair styled to look like a mohawk
  • jorts — jean shorts (WTF?!)
  • omnishambles — otherwise known as a clusterfuck
  • selfie — a self photo, typically taken by smartphone and uploaded to a social network
  • squee — a squeal of glee or excitement
  • srsly — shortened form of “seriously”
  • TL;DR, abbrev.: ‘too long didn’t read
  • unlike — to withdraw approval or remove a “Like” on Facebook

Granted, these words are only now appearing in Oxford’s online dictionaries, which feature modern word usage and not historical word roots. I wonder how many people looked at a list like this in 2005, when the word was finally added to the dictionary, and shook their heads with amusement or disgust. How many of them disapproved of the portmanteau entering the vernacular officially, despite the fact that people had been using it for nearly a decade at that point?

Change is imminent. We can’t fight it, and we can only run from it for so long.  After all, some of the greatest words we know were coined by none other than Shakespeare himself. and what else would you call a blog?

Jul 11

Kindle Fire’s Keyboard Sucks. Oh, It’s Sexist, too

The one thing that I would change about my Kindle Fire is the keyboard. The OS doesn’t let me switch to Swype or FlexT9, a similar app that I’ve actually purchased from Amazon’s Appstore. The Kindle’s keyboard isn’t entirely like that on my iPod, but it works better on the iPod, because it’s so much smaller. However, the size of the Kindle Fire keyboard isn’t the only thing that bugs me, it’s the content. The dictionary doesn’t contain basic words like “recognize”. I’m constantly doubting myself because I type a word but it shows the red line indicating that it’s not a real word. Basic works that you would expect a dictionary to know are missing, while it includes hundreds of useless words.

It’s also sexist. What do I mean? The Kindle Fire’s dictionary doesn’t include any word that describes female anatomy. Vagina? Nope. There’s no vulva or clitoris, either. There’s not even any nipples.  Of course, “penis” was in the dictionary. Now, I’m sure it wasn’t Amazon’s intent, but it means that the Kindle fire doesn’t include medical terminology for the human body, but it’s oddly suspicious that it’s only words that describe female anatomy. One could argue that Amazon wants to avoid words for possibly adult terms, but then again there’s that reference to “penis.”

Am I actually offended? Well, no, but I am curious.

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