August 31, 2010

English is a funny language… (I)

… and it gets funnier by the day! Most of us have come across forward e-mail messages or newpaper articles on why English is a funny language. Recently I happened to come across new words that have been coined, which only confirm that. Presenting to you a few words that are the result of man’s irresistable and insatiable tendency to make it ‘easier’ to communicate (read ‘coming up with new words that sound funny or are hard to remember’)!

Technology (and the internet, in specific) has forced Oxford Dictionary and the likes to come up with words for fairly regular technology-related occurences. Sample these (mostly conjugation of words):

Favicon – this is the small icon you see in the address bar of the browser while you’re accessing a site or while saving it in bookmarks/favouritizing it. The easiest means by which you can make out which site it is when you have a number of tabs open in a browser.


Freemium – anything from matrimonial sites to downloads (music/movies) and image/video hosting sites are based on it - basic features being free and advanced features being charged for!

Screenager – every household will probably have one now, i.e. a young person/teenager who spends a lot of time in front of the computer screen! (You and me included!)

Infomania – most common mania now - constantly checking and responding to email and text messages

Nonliner – someone who rarely or never uses the Internet, usually because they cannot access it (something we dread to be!)

Robocall – Tired of the pre-recorded messages you hear from Airtel, Vodafone and the others? This indicates an automated telephone call which delivers a recorded message. Next time you pick the phone and realize it’s one of “those” calls, you have a term for it now!

Blackburied – means being inundated and exhausted trying to be on top of all your email 24/7 with your handheld mobile device. For all you know, too much of this ‘berry’ could lead to the real ‘bury’!

In a totally unrelated context, check these other words out!


Baggravation - A feeling of annoyance and frustration at the airport when your baggage has not arrived but the other passengers' bags have. What about waiting for a delayed bus/train, I wonder....

Staycation and Daycation – if you guessed that it has something to do with a ‘vacation’, that’s right. In the first one you stay at home and relax (or maybe visit places close to home); the second one is a short one where the trip lasts one day (no overnight stay).

Decruitment – antonym of ‘recruitment’…yep, ‘laying off’.

Flexitarian - A vegetarian who sometimes eats meat or fish. Hmmmm…so how about non-vegetarians who sometimes eat veg. food? ;-D

Freemale – Though the word suggests something totally different (!), this one’s supposed to indicate a woman who is happy to stay single and independent so that she can do what she wants when she wants. (Who ever came up with this one!!... Some 'male' who didn't like it, I guess!)

Gastrosexuals – Move over metrosexuals and ubersexuals. Meet the gastrosexuals!... A new generation of men who see cooking more as a hobby than a household chore, and use their cooking skills to impress friends and potential partners. Who said that stomach is the way to a man’s heart only!

Sandwich generation - A generation of people who care for the needs of their children as well as those of their own elderly parents. Wonder why they even coined a term like this…it’s been the case, atleast in Asia, for a long while, but yea, this generation may soon be decreasing.

Noughties – If you were to say that World War I was in the 10s, World War II in the 40s, and so on and so forth… how would you talk about the Sept. 11 attacks? It was in the … Clueless? So this word! It refers to the years between 2000 and 2009 which contain a 'nought' (zero), in the same way as other decades are called the 'thirties', 'sixties', etc.
Care to coin more interesting words??

2 comments:

karthick r said...

Nice List but i dont find most of the terms in use(daily).

Gastrosexuals. I am not sure if I can call myself so. A novice though. I started cooking because 'cooking' and 'Doing the dishes' are the things that I hate as far as the household chores are concerned and If i can get used to them I will be complete(needn't depend on any women to help me out. of course i need them for other obvious reasons ;-))

Vijitha Valsalan said...

Yea...they're pretty uncommon in usage, but represent a lot of things we see around normally (I selected those words). Hence the post. :-)

Gastrosexual - Ohoo...
And "obvious reasons" ..ahem... !
:-D