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notable oral noises

  • Strine (Oz proper n.): that thick Australian accent. Onomatopoeic: just say "Striiine" - "(Au)stralian" - with a long ɒ sound.

  • curioso (C17th It. n.): Brilliant enthusiast of unusual things. Originally synonymous with virtuoso; a word for a proto-scientist / Renaissance man.

  • sockdolager (American n.): A finisher; an exceptional thing. Probably from "sock" (punch) and "doxology" (final hymn). Was the last word heard in the theatre before Lincoln was shot amidst laughter.

  • gunsel (originally Yiddish n.): 1) hoodlum; Player. 2) catamite - from the Yiddish גענדזל, gosling. <3. The derived term "gunselism" has exactly 1 hit and how often do you see that?

  • green ink letter (n.): A lunatic rant sent in to the Letters page.

  • cromulent (adj.): blameless; fine. Made up by a Simpsons writer to demonstrate Frege's Context Principle (or Springfield's inbreeding).

  • Taco Bell Programming (n.): the discipline of solving software engineering problems (many or most) with sequences of calls to classic, 'small, sharp' Unix tools. ("The name comes from the fact that every item on the menu at Taco Bell, a company which generates almost $2 billion in revenue annually, is simply a different configuration of roughly eight ingredients.")

  • umquhile (Scots adj.): quondam; former.

  • dark pattern (n.): In designing things, an intentionally unhelpful choice that tricks the user into doing something they don't really want to. Linkedin is a notable case: it is very hard to notice that your entire address book is being mined and emails sent out on your behalf. (So is spear phishing.) First seen in this oddly chilling sentence: "LinkedIn isn’t the only social network that uses dark patterns to grow their social graph".

  • dark tourism (n.): Visiting e.g. Auschwitz or Ypres or Ground Zero. Nominally for remembrance but generally for voyeurism. (Or sorry what's the difference?)

  • pull quote (n.): a single line quoted from a review for advertising. Easily / usually involves quote doctoring, the shameless positive spinning of negative sentiments.

  • contextomy (academic n.): quotation for misrepresenting someone. As in vasectomy: cut up.

  • mpreg (internet adj.): Male pregnancy. A genre of fanfiction centred around said zany conceit.

  • the three functions: that is, 'warrior, priest, peasant'. Categories in a particular social theory that is supposed to unify all the proto-Indo-European cultures: they all had these three public spheres and three classes, maybe. I mean, it would be hard-pressed for this to be false, it's so vague. But we know nothing more specific.

  • for the birds (American adj.): Trivial; for silly people.


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