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September 19, 2006

Confessions of a Word Geek

You might as well know. Yes, it’s time to come out of the closet. I’m a recovering word geek. Well, to be precise, "recovering" may actually be a bit premature. I haven’t yet even asked for help from a higher power or anyone else for that matter. I guess it would be better to say I’m still joyfully rollicking in the fact that I’m a word geek. I am not yet ready to let go. I am not really ready to ask for help. In fact, truth be told I’m sort of a surreptitious dealer. (Did you notice that slip?) I’m hoping that if I slip a word like surreptitious in your sentence cocktail, you might get hooked also.  You might come begging for a hit of a word like phantasmagoria.

Words, especially new ones, hold a strange fascination for me. Maybe it’s because they have a way of telling us about the culture. Word Spy is a bookmarked site for me. It documents words as they come into popular usage, offers a definition and a few listings of well-known publications where the words were used.  Here’s a sampling. In a sound byte, they reveal more about our culture and its values, than quite a few commentaries:

hedonic treadmill

continuous partial attention

Christmas creep


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