Oxford English Dictionary 2016 Additions

oxford-english-dictionary-via-hype-my-new-college-groupThe Oxford English Dictionary recently added some new words. I always like to see what kind of words make it into the dictionary each year. My very favorite–the “Word of the Year”–will show up in a couple of months, but for now, here are some of the new words that have shown up in articles about these additions.

Biatch – A sassy version of “bitch.”

Clickbait – A story or content that draws you in with a headline but probably won’t deliver.

Clicktivism – Using social media and the internet for social or political activism.

Jagoff – An obnoxious and rude person who is usually characterized as a man.

‘Merica – A shortened (and some think more patriotic) way to say “America.”

 Moobs – Slang for “man boobs.”

 Resting B*tch Face – A facial expression exuding annoyance making it appear that the person doesn’t mean to look annoyed.

Shoplifting – Stealing something from a store without paying for it. (I’m not sure why this word hasn’t been in the OED before now.)

Squee – A screech that comes out when you’re really excited about something.

Vom – A shorter way of saying vomit or to explain that someone is in the act of vomiting.

 YOLO – An acronym for “you only live once.”

There are more than 500 other words added, but I chose just a few. Since I don’t have a subscription to Oxford English Dictionary, I can’t get their “official” definitions, but I am assuming if they are adding words that are now part of our language, definitions found on the Internet will be close.

  • cheek kiss, n. – a ritual or social kissing gesture to indicate friendship, perform a greeting, to confer congratulations, to comfort someone, to show respect, or to indicate sexual or romantic interest
  • cheerer-upper, n. – a person or thing that cheers a person up
  • clientelist, adj. – a political or social system based on the relation of client to patron with the client giving political or financial support to a patron (as in the form of votes) in exchange for some special privilege or benefit <In some countries, such as Greece, there has been a clear policy of “clientelism” in which political parties have rewarded their supporters with jobs and benefits that have been funded by the general taxpayer. — The Economist, 14 Apr. 2012
  • clientitis, n. – (also called clientism or localitis) is the tendency of resident in-country staff of an organization to regard the officials and people of the host country as “clients.” This condition can be found in business or government.
  • freemium, n. – is a pricing strategy by which a product or service (typically a digital offering or application such as software, media, games or web services) is provided free of charge, but money (premium) is charged for proprietary features, functionality, or virtual goods.
  • fuhgeddaboudit, int. – Forget about it – the issue is not worth the time, energy, mental effort, or emotional resources. 2. Definitively
  • grandwean, n. – grandchild
  • kegerator, n. – a refrigerator that has been designed or altered to store and dispense kegs. By keeping the keg in a refrigerated environment and using CO2 to pressurize and dispense the keg, it will allow the contents to remain fresh and carbonated for an extended period of time, generally a couple of months.
  • kinder, n. – short for kindergarten
  • little old lady, n. – 1. one who is seen as weak, and feeble, and/or feeble-minded.
    2. a dainty, elderly woman.
  • scrumdiddlyumptious, adj. – Extremely scrumptious; excellent, splendid; (esp. of food) delicious.
  • shopaholism, n. – medical term used to define the compulsive desire to shop
  • shoppertainment, n. – a retail tactic to engage customers through an entertaining in-store shopping experience.
  • upspeak, n. – Affliction affecting my in today’s society not just teenagers where a person makes a question out of a sentence that isn’t a question (or more simply speaks “up” at the end of a sentence).
  • yaya, n. – 1. term of endearment for an old Greek grandmother. 2. used by feminists as a reference to a woman in her prime. 2a. meaning, in this context, an old stupid whiny bitch with delusions of sexiness to anyone who is not a feminist
  • Yogalates, n. – a fitness routine that combines Pilates exercises with the postures and breathing techniques of yoga

The entire list of words added to the Oxford English Dictionary is here – http://public.oed.com/the-oed-today/recent-updates-to-the-oed/september-2016-update/new-words-list-september-2016/

Grammar Giggle – Title Wave

A reader sent this to me from her research on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website.


According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a “tidal wave” is:

  • : a very high, large wave in the ocean that is often caused by strong winds or an earthquake

  • : a very large amount of something

while “title” is:

  • : the name given to something (such as a book, song, or movie) to identify or describe it

  • : a published book

  • : a word or name that describes a person’s job in a company or organization

so “title wave,” unless it is the name of a book, song, or movie (in which case it should be capitalized), is incorrect. The proper term in this case should be “tidal wave.”

Grammar Giggles – Wasgington

I had a meeting at a building in downtown Phoenix this afternoon. I pulled the parking ticket, but didn’t really look at it until I was getting ready to leave the parking garage and noticed that the building’s street name (which is a major street in downtown Phoenix) was misspelled. The worst part is that it isn’t even an unusual name. There is probably a street with this name in every major city in the United States. I understand errors happen, but when you can’t get the information for your own business right, all I can do is shake my head.


Happy Anniversary to Proof That Blog!

imageSeptember 3 marks four years since the first Proof That blog post! I was excited that I was able to find Grammar Giggles right on point!  Thanks to all my blog readers who encourage me to keep writing. I learn something with each article and I never seem to run out of Grammar Giggles–thanks in part to readers who share. So thank you for keeping this crazy dream of mine alive. There are those out there who are bored to tears at the thought of ever reading a proofreading blog and then there is YOU! So thank you again and have a piece of cake or a glass of champagne for me!

Answers to NALS Webinar Questions

Answers toI have been negligent in answering questions that I couldn’t get to during a NALS Webinar, so I will answer those questions here. I think a general review of these different topics could help others. My apologies for the delay.

1. Are the terms “per se” and “duces tecum” italicized?

Foreign phrases that have been so integrated into English as to be established as part of the English language are no longer italicized. Finding a comprehensive list of such phrases is difficult. According to Gregg Reference Manual, ¶ 288, “per se” is specifically listed as a frequently used expression that does not need to be italicized. The California Style Manual lists phrases that should no longer be italicized and another list of those phrases that should be italicized (http://www.sdap.org/downloads/Style-Manual.pdf at pp. 146-48). That resource specifically lists “duces tecum” as not italicized. I think those phrases are both used so much in English to be considered part of the English language.

2. How do you know if a word has been incorporated into English usage? Would a dictionary help?

One article I found (and an easy gauge) said that in American usage, check Merriam-Webster because if a foreign word is included there, it need not be italicized. I assume it is because Merriam-Webster has become the dictionary that best reflects English vocabulary. If the writer feels that his/her intended audience will be unfamiliar with the word, it may be easiest to italicize the word.

3. Does résumé really need the accent marks?

The Gregg Reference Manual lists “résumé” with both accent marks. It seems to me that it is helpful to differentiate it from “resume” (to begin again after stopping). I realize that context would make that obvious, but your goal is to make it easy for your reader. It is also the first preference in the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, which then lists “resume” and then “resumé.”

4. Why does a comma not go after “M.D.’s” and “Esq.’s”?

The example in question here was

–Jim Jones, M.D.’s diagnosis

–Jim Jones, Esq.’s opinion letter

In researching an answer to the question, I find that I was in error in these examples (it does happen!). BOTH of them should have the professional title surrounded by commas, so “Jim Jones, M.D.’s, diagnosis” and “Jim Jones, Esq.’s, opinion lettr” are correct. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

5. I see that your example of “attorney Jim Jones” was different than what I would have thought to be correct. I would have used “Attorney Jim Jones.” Which would be correct?

While personal titles (such as Mayor or Attorney General) before a name are capitalized, the term “attorney” is more of a job description than a title, so it should not be capitalized. It would be more like saying “paralegal Susie Smith.” You wouldn’t capitalize “paralegal” in that instance, so you shouldn’t capitalize “attorney” used the same way.

6. You said capitalize the names of documents already filed. What if the original document was “Motion for Summary Judgment or in the Alternative Motion to Dismiss” and your attorney refers to it as the Motion to Dismiss? Does the document name have to be exact to be capitalized?

According to The Bluebook, the title of a court document where the document has actually been filed in the specific matter and the reference is to the exact title or a shortened form thereof, it should be capitalized. You would not capitalize a reference to a generic name of a court document. My concern with the specific example above is that it is a “Motion for Summary Judgment” and only titled a “Motion to Dismiss” in the alternative. But if the attorney specifically indicates that the “Motion to Dismiss” is the shortened name of the specific document, it should be capitalized (although it might be helpful to define it as Motion to Dismiss” in parentheses and quotation marks to be safe and make it clear to your reader).

Do you have questions that you wonder about? Send them to me at proofthatblog@gmail.com and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Grammar Giggle – Know The Name Of Your Own High School

My granddaughter sent this to me. Her brother (who just started as a freshman in her high school) received this from his teacher. I’ve included the school district’s web page for this high school. There is a difference and you should know how to spell the name of your employer.Untitled design (2)