We Love New Words

Cross posted at Agricola.


Our culture is evolving at a rate that seems to be directly proportional to the evolution of technology in our personal lives. Some scientists have even made the claim that our species has evolved more in the last 300 years than in the previous 30,000 years as the divide between the physical and the cultural disappears.

Languages evolve, too, and provide a useful barometer to understand where we are going as a culture.

Herewith a few examples of new entries in our lexicon:

“Teamsmanship,” “embed,” and “guybrarian” – just a sampling of the creative new words and expressions recently submitted by the public to Merriam-Webster’s Open Dictionary. Read on for their definitions…

embed (noun): an instance or period of a journalist traveling with a military unit; an instance or period of being embedded.

Example of use: If we’re on an embed and we’re dealing with these Iraqi forces, they’re going to be very careful in what they say, because their American paymasters essentially are standing around.

guybrarian (noun): A male librarian in a female dominated field.

Example of use: With so many women studying library science, Tim felt conspicuous as the only guybrarian in the class.

pitawich (noun): A sandwich made with pita bread instead of the usual loaf.

Example of use: I enjoy a tasty tuna pitawich while watching Star Trek.

teamsmanship (noun): the practice and skill of being able to work as a team.

Example of use: Football players constantly display excellent teamsmanship.

vanity sizing (noun): the practice of setting the sizes of manufactured clothing such that the garment is larger than the established norm for a given size in order to persuade the purchaser that a smaller size is appropriate.

Example of use: Without vanity sizing I would not be the owner of the only pair of size 6 jeans that I have ever managed to get into.

Great stuff, via

Brittanica Blog.


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“Life’s hard, son. It’s harder when you’re stupid.” — The Duke.

Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate,no despotism can enslave. At home, a friend, abroad, an introduction, in solitude a solace and in society an ornament.It chastens vice, it guides virtue, it gives at once grace and government to genius. Without it, what is man? A splendid slave, a reasoning savage. - Joseph Addison
The term informavore (also spelled informivore) characterizes an organism that consumes information. It is meant to be a description of human behavior in modern information society, in comparison to omnivore, as a description of humans consuming food. George A. Miller [1] coined the term in 1983 as an analogy to how organisms survive by consuming negative entropy (as suggested by Erwin Schrödinger [2]). Miller states, "Just as the body survives by ingesting negative entropy, so the mind survives by ingesting information. In a very general sense, all higher organisms are informavores." - Wikipedia

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