Thursday, September 20, 2007

The OED Loses its Secret Sauce

Call me a purist, call me conservative, whatever, but I rely on the OED to be the stodgy arbiter of language. Who cares what Webster's add to their dictionary, but the OED? That's the sacred tome.

So what am I to think when the Shorter OED is updated for the first time since 1993 and now includes words that will have fallen out of usage by the time they do another update? I guess I am to assume that the OED has lost its secret sauce.

Here are ten of the new words:

1. Amp — To make (a person) very excited or energetic (as if) through the consumption of amphetamines or another stimulant. Frequently used with up

2. Beatboxing — The action or practice of imitating the sounds of an electronic drum machine with the voice.

3. Buzzkill — A person who, or thing which, dampens enthusiasm or enjoyment.

4. Chill Pill — An anti-depressant; anything intended to calm a person down (take a chill pill, calm down, relax).

5. Ghetto Fabulous — Pertaining to or favoring an ostentatious style of dress associated with the hip-hop subculture.

6. Monobrow — A pair of eyebrows that meet above the nose, giving the appearance of a single eyebrow; a person with such eyebrows, jocularly — a stupid person.

7. Pimpmobile — A large, flashy car, especially one used by a pimp.

8. Rockism — The theory that traditional rock music is a more authentic form of popular music than pop music.

9. Secret Sauce — A special feature or technique kept secret by an organization and regarded as being the chief factor in its success.

10. Splitsville — The termination of a relationship, especially a romantic one.

Rockism? Secret Sauce? I've never heard anyone use these words. Maybe it's a British thang. I wonder if "thang" made the cut?

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