pollen vortex
n. High levels of spring pollen created when temperatures rise quickly following an extremely cold winter.

And for that, you can blame the polar vortex—the extreme cold system that repeatedly hovered over much of the United States this year—along with the rest of this winter’s brutal weather. Those cold snaps helped spawn a spring allergy season so intense that it already has its own headline-ready nickname: the “pollen vortex.”
—Molly Redden, “A Brutal Allergy Season Is Ahead. Blame the Polar Vortex.,” Mother Jones, April 15, 2014
data journalism
n. Journalism that uses statistics, programming, and other digital data and tools to produce or shape news stories.
data journalist n.

Nate Silver relaunched his data-driven blog, FiveThirtyEight, this week under the auspices of ESPN as a full-blown data journalism site covering sports, politics, economics, science, and culture with a masthead of about 20. Silver introduced the new site with a manifesto for his style of data journalism, outlining a four-step process of collection, organization, explanation, and generalization and critiquing traditional journalism for its poor job of approaching anecdotes and data, particularly on the latter two steps.
—Mark Coddington, “This Week in Review: Nate Silver and data journalism’s critics, and the roots of diversity problems,” Nieman Journalism Lab, March 21, 2014
n. A video self-portrait taken by a self-controlled drone. [drone + selfie]

A dronie is a video selfie taken with a drone. I featured Amit Gupta’s beautiful dronie yesterday...Other people have since taken dronies of their own and the idea seems like it’s on the cusp of becoming a thing.
—Jason Kottke, “Dronies!,”, April 16, 2014
n. A person who consumes a gluten-free, vegan diet.

Many a vegan and gluten-freegan before me has faced this dilemma: What to do when your eating habits clash with your host’s?
—Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan, “Resisting the temptation: The ultimate no-processed-food challenge,” Grist, August 17, 2012
(prak.TAWK.uh.lips) n. A drill that simulates a disastrous situation, particularly a shutdown of the internet. [practice + apocalypse]

This was only a test—a cross between a role-playing game and a fire drill. The attendees were at Eyebeam, an art and technology space, for a practice Internet apocalypse, or “Practocalypse,” intended to teach them what to do if external forces—extreme weather, tyrannical governments—cause our communications systems to fail.
—Joshua Kopstein, “How to survive an internet apocalypse,” The New Yorker, April 12, 2014
pp. Sharing text by taking a screenshot to ensure that the text cannot be searched, tagged, or parsed, particularly by an algorithm.
screenshot v.

Another way to escape the algorithmic gaze is to screenshot text instead of linking to a story or person directly. While humans can read the text of a screenshot easily, the algorithms on the major social platforms cannot. This allows for conversations that are silent or invisible to the machine, but work perfectly well for humans.
—Alexis Madrigal, “Behind the Machine‘s Back: How Social Media Users Avoid Getting Turned Into Big Data,” The Atlantic, April 14, 2014
n. A person who believes that life on Earth can or will be mostly destroyed by a massive volcanic eruption.

The difference between my interest and that of eruptionists is that they think the big bang will happen tomorrow because it didn’t happen today.
—Ken Newton, “Amid the mysteries of Elwood,” St. Joseph News-Press, April 5, 2014
v. To be told to volunteer for something; compulsorily or forcibly volunteered. [volunteer + told]
n. A person volunteered in this way.

I was “voluntold” to be Santa Claus. I wore my military uniform with weapon and flack vest, but I also wore a ratty old gray fuzzy beard and my Santa hat. I sat at the end of a line of soldiers and wished every child that came by a “Merry Christmas.”
—Gary Wallin, “Christmas I remember best: An Afghanistan Christmas I will cherish forever,” Deseret News, December 20 2013
n. A persistently low level of inflation, particularly one that threatens a country's economic prosperity. Also: low-flation.

The effect is deeply corrosive even if the region never crosses the line into technical deflation. “Lowflation” near 0.5pc can play havoc with debt trajectories if it goes on for long, ultimately throwing Europe back into a debt crisis.
—Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, “ECBs deflation paralysis drives Italy, France and Spain into debt traps,” The Telegraph, April 2, 2014
nth screen
n. Technology that displays video content on many different screens, particularly multiple, synchronized screens. Also: nth-screen.

The Samsung RF4289 and RSG309 are two new state of the art refrigerator freezers hitting the market on [sic] 2011....Both of these units incorporate an eight inch LCD screen and built in Wi-Fi wireless internet connectivity....These refrigerators are a major component of Samsung’s Nth-Screen “seamless connectivity” strategy.
—“Samsung RF4289 And RSG309,“ Your Refrigerator, July 26, 2013
n. The exhaustive and incessant recording of the details and events of one’s life, particularly when these are shared on social media.

However, the digital age (and the resulting hyper-documentation of our lives) appears to have ushered in a new era of early-onset nostalgia.
—Gareth Price, “Digistalgia: Has Social Media Shaped Teenage Attitudes To Brands?,” Business 2 Community, October 17, 2012
trigger warning
n. Advance warning that a book, movie, or other material has content that could trigger emotional distress or a traumatic reaction. Also: trigger alert.

All GSIs and professors of social science and humanities courses should undergo training comparable to that of intergroup dialogue facilitators to ensure heightened sensitivity to diverse perspectives. Instructors should also make a concerted effort to give students “trigger warnings” that alert them to upcoming class materials that could be potentially offensive, explicit or controversial.
—“From the Daily: Let’s talk about race,” The Michigan Daily, March 20, 2014