Not too long ago, we started a First County Bank employee blog feature called the “Word of the Week.” As it turns out, it is one of the most frequently read areas of the blog even with words of the week such as ”leitmotif.” Before you right click for your on-line dictionary, leitmotif means a recurrent theme throughout a musical or literary composition. The author of this feature is our Chief Administrative Officer, Peter Rugen, a long-time colleague with, obviously, a very rich vocabulary. The only rule qualifying a word of the week is Peter must have used it in a conversation the week before. It makes me wonder how that conversation must have gone…
Each year, new words are captured in the wild (i.e. , everyday life) and added to the English dictionary. This year’s list is a reflection of our evolving culture and made up of words that have been in circulation for quite some time. Man cave and gastropub made it this year, even though my spell check doesn’t agree about the latter. We’ve used the term underwater all too often in recent years to describe a mortgage loan which is greater than the home’s value.
I’m sure Peter, who also heads up the Bank’s IT team, can give you the definition of cloud computing, which is described as a game changer in technology. One of the Bank’s Corporators has recently checked off one of her bucket list items with a trip to Africa.
You really have to respect the flexibility and versatility of the English language as it changes with the times to keep up with our society. I can only hope that additions to the dictionary never include some of the recent Internet and Twitter slang that seems to come and go. On the other hand, I don’t know how the reverse works, but hodad (a 50’s term for “a non-surfer who frequents surfing beaches and pretends to be a surfer”) was recently removed from the dictionary.
As you can tell, I’m not a fan of making random slang “official” just to keep the dictionary “cool.” However, I think all of us who grew up in and around Boston—an area of the US known for its distinct accent and unique catch phrases— should begin to lobby for wicked awesome to be entered into next year’s class.