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American Speech 79.1 (2004) 87-91

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Among the New Words

Wayne Glowka, Megan Melançon, Barry Darugar, Adrian Fairchild, Jessica Sedor, Suzanne Sharp, and Danielle C. Wyckoff
Georgia College & State University

Here's another tidy installment of new words that caught our eyes as either useful or interesting or both. Some are semantically obvious coinages (LOSERVILLE, TITLE TOWN, and ROOM ROULETTE); others are impenetrable without some explanation of context (NASDAQ and UNILATERAL NEGATIVE OPTIONING). One wonders if NASDAQ will undergo amelioration in a future technology boom. A CHICKEN-POX PARTY strikes us as an economically sound policy for efficient childrearing, but then so does the policy for Irish family harmony outlined in Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal." The senior editor would like to note that MICROMOBILITY can become a risk to life and limb when the carport is littered with fold-up scooters and the like. Contributors of citations include Adele Algeo, John Algeo, George Cole, and Frank Nuessel, whose reading keeps us abreast of what is going on in the world.

chicken-pox party n [BDC 14.1 1991] Gathering held so that healthy children may contract chicken pox from infected children at a time convenient for the parents 1995 Aug 21 Rashida Dhooma Toronto Sun final ed5 (Lexis-Nexis) Many of you have been to a Tupperware party or a lingerie party, but a chicken-pox party? Seems some parents deliberately take their children to such "parties" so they can get certain infectious illness "to get it over and done with." [¶] Others get their kids to share Popsicles and baths so they can have the illness at the same time—thereby minimizing the inconvenience of having to take time off work to attend to children at different times. 2001 Apr 4 Paul Donohue Windsor Star final ed B5 (Lexis-Nexis; head) Chicken pox 'parties' are a thing of the past Dec 26 Edmonton Sun final ed2 (Lexis-Nexis)A POX ON THEM: [sic] Some parents in the Pittsburgh area recently held chicken pox "parties" for their kids in which one child suffering from the disease would be mingled with other kids so they could get infected too.

Loserville n Place, literal or figurative, inhabited by the defeated 1987 Oct 13 Scott Ostle Los Angeles Times home ed 3/1/4 (Lexis-Nexis) These aren't the old Twins, representing Loserville, USA. They even have newly designed uniforms this year. All these kids know about Minneapolis is that it's where Wheaties are made. They don't know about past athletic failures. 2001 Jan/Feb Sharyn Wizda American Journalism Review 34 (Lexis-Nexis)When Bush's campaign took off after he surprisingly "won" the debates, Gore returned to [End Page 87] Loserville as far as the press was concerned. 2002 Jan 17 Mark Starr Newsweek np (Lexis-Nexis) Local sports columnists began to dub the town "loserville" and the succession of miserable failures cast a pall over Boston that perfectly matched the national mood of mourning. Oct 9 Atlanta Journal-Constitution home ed 4C (Lexis-Nexis) Few things in life are inevitable, but among them are death, taxes and the Braves losing in October. The Atlanta Braves: America's regular-season team. [¶] The Yankees and Diamondbacks were gone! It was supposed to be easy. But the legacy of Loserville lives on.

micromobility n Transportation by means of a scooter, skates, or other easily portable device 2000 Aug 13 Anne Putz Houston Chronicle Business 3 (Lexis-Nexis) Micro Mobility Systems, a Swiss company that worked with K2 to develop one of the first of the new two-wheeled scooters, has sold about 750,000 this year and expects sales of at least 1.2 million by year's end, excluding the Christmas season, salesman Thomas Pingel said. Aug 30 Jennifer Sherry and Pearl Liang South China Morning Post 5 (Lexis-Nexis) For the benefit of those who have been in hibernation this past year, here's the potted bluffer's guide. For a start, mini-scooters, micro-scooters, kick...


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pp. 87-91
Launched on MUSE
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Archived 2005
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