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Monday, September 13, 2010

Words you'll like

One app I enjoy on my iphone is called Slango---each day it gives me a new word from the Urban Dictionary.  Today's word is cell phone samba, "the erratic movements of a person trying to get better cell phone service.  Example:  The other day, a man ran into me while doing the cell phone samba in the grocery store."  (You can get the word-of-the-day on the Urban Dictionary web site as well.)

Another (real) word I came across a few months ago struck me as so funny I wrote it on a post-it:

The Dunning-Kruger Effect  When someone's incompetence denies them the ability to recognize their own incompetence.  Named by two psychologists (and if you guessed Dunning and Kruger you'd be right), you can read the interesting history of this word here.

So this morning I was quite entertained to read Douglas Coupland's op-ed in the New York Times entitled "A Dictionary of the Near Future", his choice of words we need to describe our modern lives.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Deselfing  Willingly diluting one’s sense of self and ego by plastering the Internet with as much information as possible. (See also Omniscience Fatigue; Undeselfing)

 Portrait of Katie Lewis, Edward Burne-Jones

Fictive Rest The inability of many people to fall asleep until after reading even the tiniest amount of fiction.

Frankentime  What time feels like when you realize that most of your life is spent working with and around a computer and the Internet.

Intraffinital Melancholy vs. Extraffinital Melancholy   Which is lonelier: to be single and lonely, or to be lonely within a dead relationship?

 The Mirror of Venus, Edward Burne-Jones

Limited Pool Romantic Theory  The belief that there is a finite number of times in which one can fall in love, most commonly six.

Memesphere  The realm of culturally tangible ideas.

Rosenwald's Theorum The belief that all the wrong people have self-esteem.  (added by me: these people might also suffer from the Dunning-Kruger Effect).

Undeselfing The attempt, usually frantic and futile, to reverse the deselfing process.

I wonder if Morris made up words?  It's hard to believe he wouldn't have given his extraordinary creativity with language.