Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 10:11:21 -0500

From: Allan Metcalf AAllan[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM

Subject: WOTY from the Algeos

AS usual, ADS will choose Words of the Year at next week's annual meeting. We

expect to post the final nominees after they're chosen Thursday the 28th.

Meanwhile, here are the nominations from John and Adele Algeo. Your comments

are welcome. - Allan Metcalf


Our nominations for the various New Words of 1995 are the

following. We have no single nomination to make, but World Wide Web

(WWW, W3) seems to us to be clearly the most important of these items

and the one that will have the greatest future impact, on both language

and society. It is not "new" this year in "real time" but is a "new

word" by our stipulated definition, namely it is not listed in the

printings we have of any of our ten dictionaries of record. Electronic

communication and storage continues to be the most salient source of

neologisms, but in the following list we have tried to include words

from a number of other fields of discourse for variety.

anxious class A category of middle-class persons worried

about their economic security

applet [appl(ication) + -et] A small software program, such

as a calendar, memo pad, or card game; or a piece of a larger program

that can be retrieved on a network computer, used, and discarded


Astroturf Organized public response to a political issue

appearing to be a "grass-roots" movement but instead created by

special-interest advertising

beat down A beating delivered to a gang member as a part of a

ritual, as for initiation or resignation

big box A large chain store specializing in one kind of

merchandise; a "category killer"

coho A house or unit in a cohousing development, in which

residents live in separate units clustered around a common building

used for activities such as social events, laundry, and dining

copyleft A prohibition against making a profit from

distributing the source code of free computer software

corporate welfare Government economic support of corporate


drive-through delivery A shortened hospital stay for

childbirth required by some insurance companies

Easter egg An unexpected operation programmed into commercial

software as a joke and activated by a secret command

EGG, Evaporating Gaseous Globule A mass of gas inside which

stars are formed

EQ; emotional intelligence The ability to manage one's

emotions, seen as a factor in achievement

Generation Y The generation following Generation X; the

post-post-Baby Boomers

go postal [from a number of shootings by postal workers in

post offices] To act irrationally, especially violently, from

stress and frustration in the workplace

gustnado A tornado-like vortex on the approaching edge of a


hotlink A computer connection made directly by clicking on a

screen icon

legacy Of computer hardware and software, obsolescent but

still in use

leptin A hormone that removes fat from the body

meme A unit of cultural information that spreads from mind to

mind like a virus and propagates itself like a gene

metadata Information useful for locating other information,

especially on the Internet; meta-information

meta-information Data useful for locating other data,

especially on the Internet; metadata

mindblind Unable to receive, process, or respond to certain

social situations, a condition associated with autism

mind virus A unit of cultural information that induces

obsessive behavior on the part of those who receive it

mouse potato A computer couch potato; one who uses the

computer obsessively, frequently, or for prolonged periods

multiculti Multicultural

nag screen A computer message reminding the user to take some

action, especially to make a payment for shareware

nastygram An unwelcome message received on the Internet

network computer An "information appliance," now in its

prototype stage, consisting of a monitor, keyboard, mouse and modem

connection, directly accessing an Internet server, from which software

will be downloaded and on which files will be stored, thus eliminating

the need for an individual PC and hard drive and available at a

fraction of the initial cost of a conventional PC

Newt A formative alluding, usually uncomplimentarily, to

Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, as in Newt Age, Newt Dealer, Newt

kids on the block, Newt World Order, Newt-o-nomics, Newtian, Newtie,

Newtoid, Newtomania, Newtonian, Newtopia, Newtphobia, Newtritional,

Newtron bomb, Newtspeak, Newtster, NewtWatch, Newtworking, Newty Boy,

also femiNewtie, King Newt

outworking [cf OED outwork 'work done outside a factory';

outworker 'one who does outwork'] Of west European and American

businesses, operating manufacturing plants in countries of the world,

such as eastern Europe, where labor costs are lower than in the country

of the company's headquarters

overclass A highly educated and economically privileged class

password sniffer A secret computer program that records the

names and passwords of users of a network

queue jockey A telephone operator on a computer technical

support number who plays music and informs callers how long they can

expect to wait for a technician

spinning also RPM Riding a stationary racing bicycle as a form

of exercise while listening to music

spoofing Impersonating another computer terminal in order to

gain access illegally to information from a network intended for the

impersonated terminal

superatom An artificial state of matter consisting of atoms

of rubidium gas cooled to nearly absolute zero, at which temperature

the atoms lose their separate identities and form a single whole

Tejano A Texas-Mexican style of music featuring the accordion

trunking Locking the owner of a stolen car in its trunk

before joyriding and abandoning the car with the owner still in the


Web-gram An electronic message posted on an "Electric

Postcard" World Wide Web site, retrievable from it upon notification by


webliography Bibliography of materials on the Internet

webmaster An expert in the use of the World Wide Web

Webzine A magazine on the World Wide Web

World Wide Web; WWW; W3 A hypermedia information storage

system linking resources around the world, accessible by computer modem

zone out To relax by engaging in mindless activity like TV

watching or spinning