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Out with the old and 'like' in with the new can be 'amazing'

Posted Monday, January 9, 2012, at 2:02 PM

The old man with the scythe crept out of 2011 without a whimper, and 2012, as new babies do, came charging in with noise, energy and optimism -- optimism for new administrations, new ideas, and a new presidential campaign.

Even new vocabulary words have sprung up and are being added to the 2012 New Oxford Dictionary along with a list of words that should be deleted.

After looking at the new words, I was disappointed. I doubt that I will have an occasion to add them to my lexicon.

For instance, take the new word "retweet." How can I retweet when I don't know how to tweet?

Another interesting new word is "bromance" describing a close, nonsexual relationship between two males.

Once again, I won't be adding that to my vocabulary since I'm sure I won't know any men who will let it occur to them that they are "bromancing."

After giving the word some thought, I know why there isn't such a word as "womancing" for women.

Women don't need a new word since they have always had close relationships with one another. That is how they survive by confiding with one another instead of visiting counselors or psychiatrists.

Sadly, men have never learned that trick, so, therefore, there's not much of a reason for "bromancing."

Another interesting word that is added to the dictionary in which I will completely dismiss is "cougar," which doesn't mean the animal but an older woman seeking a relationship with a younger man.

In the past, it was called robbing the cradle, but maybe that term was deleted from vocabulary when I wasn't listening.

Words and terms come and go. The 1920s was the first decade to emphasize youth culture over older generations.

Consequently, many new words and terms were introduced to Main Street America, which are not unfamiliar to some of today's generation.

The words bootlegger, flatfoot, sugar daddy and flapper were all words introduced during that time.

The term 23 Skidoo came about in the 1920s when men watched women's skirts lifted as they walked over an underground ventilation at 23rd Street in Manhattan. When police arrived to arrest for loitering, a quick departure became 23 Skidoo.

Now to the two words that are to be deleted from our vocabulary -- "amazing" and "baby bump."

I have to admit I do use the word "amazing" quite often simply because I don't like its cousin, which is "awesome."

The last few years everything became awesome. That is about as overworked as the word "like.'

When listening to some conversations, the word "like" overpowers every sentence.

Here is an example of a grammarians' nightmare that might have been heard on a popular TV show that takes place in New Jersey:

"I was traveling 'like' 50 miles an hour when this policeman 'like' stopped me for speeding when I was 'like' within the speed limit."

Even though Noah Webster's vocabulary in his first dictionary was considered bordering on vulgar by Federalists, he most likely never used the word pregnant in mixed company so would have never dreamed the term "baby bump" would have been in our vocabulary in the first place.

I simply don't like the term, so it was always deleted from my conversations.

I think we all have words that give us shudders.

For me, some of those words are "Wally-World" and Monkey Ward when referring to those two large store chains. I can't give a reason, just one of my idiosyncrasies.

Another word that brings pangs to my ears is "loaded" when referring to wealth. I would like to keep the meaning to a loaded gun or a loaded truck but not Jane Doe is loaded.

Isn't it interesting how words come and go and how they affect some people? I think it's "like" amazing.

Jo is a staff writer for the Greene County Daily World. She can be reached by email at tojo631@sbcglobal.net .

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Will share "bromancing" with co-workers who are participants in our "Word of the Day".

Which came first, twitter or tweet?

-- Posted by Barrett on Tue, Jan 10, 2012, at 11:48 AM

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