Word Spy Blog

Happy (Belated) Nerd/Geek Pride Day

May 25 was both Nerd Pride Day and Geek Pride Day. Luckily for you, I won’t rehash the old “nerds, geeks: what’s the difference?” debate here, because we’re all nerds and geeks now.
Words Spied
flat white economy n. The economic sector consisting of small firms and startups in the media, technology, and communications industries. [New Statesman]

kayaktivist n. A person who uses a kayak to take part in a protest or similar act of civil disobedience. (kayak + activist) [NPR]''Kayaktivists. Source: Greenpeace USA.
nones n. People who who are not affiliated with or a member of an organized religion. [USA Today]

ragescroll v. To scroll angrily, particularly to the bottom of a page or message for further actions (such as unsubscribing or contacting customer service). [Twitter]

shadow impact n. The effect that a shadow cast by a tall building has on the surrounding area. [Inside Toronto]

Word of the Week
book desert n. An area that has few or no bookstores, libraries, or other sources of books.

Like a food desert—an area where fresh, nutritious foods are difficult to find or afford—a book desert is a place where books are difficult to access. There are technology, transportation, time, and financial barriers that prevent millions from reading books.
—Kathryn Jaller, “How Little Free Libraries Plant Reading In Book Deserts,” Chronicle Books, April 16, 2015

Cruft* of the Week

Scoxit n. The exit of Scotland from Great Britain. (Scotland + exit) [Breaking Views]

“Poorly built, possibly over-complex; generally unpleasant” —The Jargon File.

Quick Links

Being an archaeodialectologist

Cash crisis threatens dictionary of US regional English

Emoji the big new language? I’d rather take to cave art

Food Mashups: from cronuts to totchos

How Vox is Like Urban Dictionary

What’s the Difference Between “You” and “U”?

Close Quote
I am an unrepentant, irremediable word nerd and proud of it, for language is the most pleasant obsession I know.
—Charles Harrington Elster