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Harris Blackwood: Adding 21st century terms to our vocabulary
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In all of my working years, I have always had a dictionary near my desk.

I am quite partial to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which has always seemed to be the best.

My mama, a notorious bargain hunter, once bought me a no-name dictionary. It was missing a few pages around the end of “r” and the beginning of “s.” If you were looking for the correct spelling of rutabaga or whether sandman should be capitalized, this presented a problem.

I actually bought my current dictionary about six years ago. It has served me well.

Now comes word that the editors at Merriam-Webster have added 1,000 new words to their newest edition. They are terms that have come to prominence in recent years.

Binge-watching is one of the new words. If you missed a show’s entire season, you can purchase the season on DVD and spend a weekend day watching all the shows. This term is also used for shows delivered a season at a time on internet channels such as Netflix or Hulu.

I am guilty of binge-watching. I’m also guilty of binge-eating, but that must have made it into an earlier dictionary.

Seussian is a new dictionary word referring to something of or relating to the works of Dr. Seuss. If you are prone to quote “Hop on Pop” rather than Shakespeare, you would understand that.

Photobomb is a term that seems to have, pardon the pun, exploded on the scene. This is term given to an uninvited person who shows up in your otherwise perfect photo, usually with a goofy look on their face.

I once photobombed the commander of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. I now wear sunglasses and sit very low in the seat when I drive in the Volunteer State.

Now that folks are living beyond the age of 100, we now have the term supercentenarian, which is a person who is 110 or older. If you are 110, they should give you a free copy of the new dictionary.

There are now terms that I’ve never heard before, such as face-palm. As the name implies, it is when you put your palm over your mouth in shock, surprise or disgust. An example: She face-palmed when her husband told a really bad joke.

We now have a term for folks whose cupboard is nearly bare: food insecure. To me, food insecure is what we used to call poor folks. But I guess that’s not politically correct.

I would have thought food insecure described me when I go to a buffet of international food and am not sure what is before me.

The computer gurus have concocted the term abandonware to describe software no longer made or supported by the company that made it.

I’m not sure why this belongs in a modern dictionary, but the term “wayback machine” has made it into the new book. That was the name of the machine developed by Peabody the cartoon dog. He and his boy, Sherman, traveled to points throughout history. But that was 50 years ago.

I’m not going to rush out and buy a new dictionary just yet. I am doing fine without the additional 1,000 words in my vocabulary.

Woo-woo (that’s in there, too).

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