Wednesday, January 10, 2007

WORD SPY: The Word Lover's Guide to Modern Culture

I read about Paul McFedreis in Time magazine. I was flipping through the pages and came across the section called NoteBook. It was interesting to read about he the words and phrases that are coined every single day which are actually influenced by our outrageous Pop Culture.

Here is the list....

BROKEBACK MARRIAGE n. Thanks to Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal and their celebrated screen tragedy, there's now a term to describe a union between a gay man and a straight woman or a gay married man having an affair.

CELEBUTARD n. A celebrity widely perceived as unintelligent. We're not naming any names, Paris Hilton.

CIVIL WAR n. Not a new term, but Iraq's deteriorating "sectarian violence"--to use President George W. Bush's preferred phrase--had people asking, Is it or isn't it?

FED-EX n. So long, K-Fed. The tabloids found a new name for Kevin Federline after his breakup with Britney Spears.

LIQUID TERROR n. After terrorists plotted to board planes in London with liquid explosives, this term was coined for the latest suspected terrorist tactic.

MACACA n. A racial slur? A kind of monkey? Virginia Senator George Allen, who used it at a campaign rally when he spotted an Indian-American volunteer from his opponent's camp, might define it as "the end of my re-election campaign."

MCSTEAMY n. He's no McDreamy, but Grey's Anatomy's newest character, Dr. Mark Sloan, usually known by his nickname, had fans buzzing.

SEASON CREEP n. Spring seemed to come early this year--and summer lasted a bit longer. What's to blame? Most scientists say global warming.

THE DECIDER n. A self-coined sobriquet for Bush, who bestowed the label on himself when explaining his initial rejection of calls for Donald Rumsfeld to step down as Secretary of Defense.

WIKIALITY n. Wikipedia + reality = truth based on consensus rather than fact. The growing popularity of the online encyclopedia, for which the public writes and edits entries, gave rise to the term.

Wow....I finally bought his book - ie...Paul McFedreis' s book - Word Spy: The Word Lover's Guide to Modern Culture - Here is what Paul says about his book..

This book is a series of cultural snapshots, with the lens focused on new words and phrases that tell us something about our world. These snapshots cover various slices of modern life, including relationships, business, technology, war, aging, multiculturalism, and even fast food. I define each word, tell you when it first appeared in print, provide a citation from the media that shows how the word is used, and give you some cultural background — stats, stories, trends, and tidbits — that put the word into context. Taken together, I hope these snapshots form a larger picture of our modern culture. Have you ever seen one of those images that, when examined closely, turns out to be made up of thousands of smaller pictures? It's called a mosaic, and that's the metaphor that underlies this book. It's a mosaic of new words.

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