Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 10:11:21 -0500 From: Allan Metcalf 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 afterwards 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 business 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 thunderstorm 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 trunk Web-gram An electronic message posted on an "Electric Postcard" World Wide Web site, retrievable from it upon notification by e-mail 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