Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oxford Word of the Year 2009: Unfriend

Birds are singing, the sun is shining and I am joyful first thing in the morning without caffeine. Why you ask? Because it is Word of the Year time (or WOTY as we refer to it around the office). Every year the New Oxford American Dictionary prepares for the holidays by making its biggest announcement of the year. This announcement is usually applauded by some and derided by others and the ongoing conversation it sparks is always a lot of fun, so I encourage you to let us know what you think in the comments.

Without further ado, the 2009 Word of the Year is: unfriend.

unfriend – verb – To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook.

As in, “I decided to unfriend my roommate on Facebook after we had a fight.”

“It has both currency and potential longevity,” notes Christine Lindberg, Senior Lexicographer for Oxford’s US dictionary program. “In the online social networking context, its meaning is understood, so its adoption as a modern verb form makes this an interesting choice for Word of the Year. Most “un-” prefixed words are adjectives (unacceptable, unpleasant), and there are certainly some familiar “un-” verbs (uncap, unpack), but “unfriend” is different from the norm. It assumes a verb sense of “friend” that is really not used (at least not since maybe the 17th century!). Unfriend has real lex-appeal.”

Wondering what other new words were considered for the New Oxford American Dictionary 2009 Word of the Year? Check out the list below.


hashtag – a # [hash] sign added to a word or phrase that enables Twitter users to search for tweets (postings on the Twitter site) that contain similarly tagged items and view thematic sets

intexticated – distracted because texting on a cellphone while driving a vehicle

netbook – a small, very portable laptop computer with limited memory

paywall – a way of blocking access to a part of a website which is only available to paying subscribers

sexting – the sending of sexually explicit texts and pictures by cellphone


freemium – a business model in which some basic services are provided for free, with the aim of enticing users to pay for additional, premium features or content

funemployed – taking advantage of one’s newly unemployed status to have fun or pursue other interests

zombie bank – a financial institution whose liabilities are greater than its assets, but which continues to operate because of government support

Politics and Current Affairs

Ardi – (Ardipithecus ramidus) oldest known hominid, discovered in Ethiopia during the 1990s and announced to the public in 2009

birther – a conspiracy theorist who challenges President Obama’s birth certificate

choice mom – a person who chooses to be a single mother

death panel – a theoretical body that determines which patients deserve to live, when care is rationed

teabagger -a person, who protests President Obama’s tax policies and stimulus package, often through local demonstrations known as “Tea Party” protests (in allusion to the Boston Tea Party of 1773)


brown state – a US state that does not have strict environmental regulations

green state – a US state that has strict environmental regulations

ecotown - a town built and run on eco-friendly principles

Novelty Words

deleb – a dead celebrity

tramp stamp – a tattoo on the lower back, usually on a woman

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fun with words

The nonsense of english spelling.

Thursday, August 27, 2009



1. In the beginning my English teacher created nouns and verbs.

2. And the verbs were without form and voice; and darkness was upon
the face of the deep--my teacher.

3. And she said, "Let there be grammar;" and there was grammar.

4. And Teacher saw the verbs and laughed and said that it was good;
and she divided the bright students from those who remained in darkness.

5. And Teacher gave the bright students A's and kept the others after
school. And the homework and the bell were the first day.

6. And Teacher said, "Let there be a sentence in the midst of the
words, and let it divide the nouns from the verbs.

7. And Teacher made the sentence, and diagrammed it on the board; I
looked and saw that it was so.

8. And the Teacher called the sentence declarative. And the capital
and the period were the second day.

9. And Teacher said, "Let the noun words in the sentence be gathered
together unto one place, and let the verb words appear; and it was so.

10. And Teacher called the verb words predicate; and the gathering
together of noun words called she the subject; and Teacher saw that it
was good.

11. And Teacher said, "Let the predicate bring forth modifiers, the
transitive verbs yielding objects, and the intransitive verbs yielding
complements after their own kind, whose place is in itself, within the
predicate;" and it was so.

12. And the predicate brought forth modifiers, and transitive verbs
yielding objects after their own kind, and intransitive verbs yielding
a complement whose place was in itself, after their own kind: The
Teacher saw that it was good and confusing.

13. And the active and the passive were the third day.

14. And Teacher said, "Let there be modifiers in the firmament of the
subject to further confuse and divide the students in the classroom;
and let them be for proper nouns, concrete nouns, mass nouns,
collective nouns, pronouns, and abstract nouns."

15. "And let them be for to give meaning in the subject and to
enhance the predicate;" and it was so---confusing.

16. And Teacher made two great words: the greater word -adjective- to
rule the noun, and the lesser word -adverb- to rule the verb; she made
the conjunction also.

17. And Teacher set them in the sentence in order to make it
difficult to diagram.

18. And to make it easier for her to divide the bright students from
those who remained in darkness; and Teacher saw that her system was

19. And the phrase and the clause were the fourth day.

20. And Teacher said, "Let the verbs bring forth abundantly the many
verb forms, the gerunds, infinitives, and participles; the
subjunctives; the auxiliary verbs, the linking verbs; and the phrasal

21. And Teacher created mood for every living creature that moveth,
and tense for all time, and voice after their kind: and Teacher saw
that it was indeed good.

22. And Teacher blessed them saying, "Be fruitful and multiply in
complexity, and fill young minds with bewilderment, and let the
bewilderment multiply into chaos in their minds."

23. And the lecture and the English test were the fifth day.

24. And Teacher said, "Let the nouns and verbs bring forth living
sentences after their own kind, book reports, essay questions, and
English themes for the students to write;" and it was very so.

25. And Teacher made all these things for the freshman English
student to do, and everything that creepeth into her mind she gave to
them to do; and Teacher saw to it that it was good.

26. And Teacher said, "Let us make one project in our image, after
our likeness; and let the product have dominion over the other
projects, and over every subject of the college student."

27. So Teacher created the research paper in her own image, in the
image of Teacher created she it; boring and difficult created she it.

28. And Teacher blessed it, and Teacher said unto the research paper,
"Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the supply of dropouts, and
subdue the remainder of the college students; and have dominion over
the other projects, and over the other subjects, and over every single
grade that the students receive."

29. "And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air,
and to every thing that creepeth into the classroom, wherein there is
life, I have given every rule and principle for good English;" and it
was so.

30. And Teacher saw everything that she had made, and behold it was
very good. (Author Unknown)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hot Dogs With Love

Rick Swyden runs a production company during the week and on Sundays he scours Oklahoma City for hungry homeless people who would love a hot dog lunch and a hug.

Life can be hard

Friday, July 17, 2009

Change Your Thinking

Change Your Thinking

It will take just 37 seconds to read this and change your thinking.

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.

His bed was next to the room's only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end.

They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.

Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man could not hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.

She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.


Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.

He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, 'Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.'


There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.

Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.

If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Merriam-Webster Adds 100 New Words to its Dictionary

Merriam-Webster (a subsidiary of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.) has just released the list of the some 100 new words added to its Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.

“Our language evolves in many ways,” says John Morse, president and publisher of Merriam-Webster. “As we’ve seen from our Open Dictionary feature on, people enjoy blending existing words, like combining ‘stay’ and ‘vacation’ to make staycation. Staycation is a good example of a word meeting a need and establishing itself in the language very quickly. Our earliest record of use is from 2005, but it seems to have exploded into popular use in 2007.”

Many of the new additions reflect the importance of the environment (carbon footprint, green-collar), government activities (earmark, waterboarding), health and medicine (cardioprotective, locavore, naproxen, neuroprotective), pop culture (docusoap, fan fiction, flash mob, reggaeton), and online activities (sock puppet, vlog, webisode).

Listed below is a sampling of these new words, all linked to their Merriam-Webster definitions:

1. acai
2. carbon footprint
3. cardioprotective
4. earmark
5. fan fiction
6. flash mob
7. frenemy
8. goji
9. green-collar
10. haram
11. locavore
12. memory foam
13. missalette
14. naproxen
15. neuroprotective
16. pharmacogenetics
17. physiatry
18. reggaeton
19. shawarma
20. sock puppet
21. staycation
22. vlog
23. waterboarding
24. webisode
25. zip line

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hareless in Gaza

There once was a guy with no hair
Oh his pate was completely bare!
He never used a comb.
That utensil had no home.
It definitely had no use up there!

June Down The Drain

Oh when will the rain ever wane?
One would think that God would abstain
from taking a tinkle.
I’ll bet that’s a new wrinkle!
Until the water goes down the drain!

My Advice To Spammers

Dear spammers, I wish you’d take heed
to stop sending messages that prove
to us your greed!
You fill me with malice
because your sends are so callous!
To my spam filter I wish you godspeed!

Agency Ode

There once was an agent, quite tough
who made feel like I never got enough.
When I negotiated with him
my brain would begin to spin
and now it’s turning to fluff!

A Crotchety Ode

Crotchety Ode
A crotchety fellow named Rich
Was diagnosed with terminal itch
He searched for a way
that he’d feel okay
But he decided his life was a bitch

Friday fillin

1. The last thing I ate was ___sunflower seeds__ and ____water_.

2. ___A monitor__ is something I recently bought.

3. When it rains, it _____pours

4. ____I_ was the first person I talked to today.

5. Hugs are ____great_.

6. ____Tucks_ extra comfort.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _watch films on netflicks.com____, tomorrow my plans include ___watch TV__ and Sunday, I want to ___see grandkids__!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

9 Letter Word Riddle

A ONE WORD Riddle for a 'Nine letter word'

What if this was the only question on the exam to pass high school English and earn your diploma. Would you graduate?

Okay you brainiacs, here is a brain teaser for you.

What nine letter word in the English language is still a word when each of the nine letters is removed one by one?

Take a few minutes to try and come up with a nine letter word that fits the bill, then watch the video....

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hooked on Phonics won't work with this!

Simple English

The bandage was wound around the wound.
The farm was used to produce produce.
The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
We must polish the Polish furniture.
He could lead if he would get the lead out.
The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert
Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
I did not object to the object.
The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
They were too close to the door to close
The buck does funny things when the does are present..
A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language.