Stretching the vocabulary

Count the 370 words added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary this year. Each entered the dictionary after folks used the word in speech and/or writing. Sus became part of our language as lazy folks cut short the syllables of suspicious or suspect.

I sus that the dumbphone was developed as a cheap way for folks who need a cell phone, but do not want to learn how to use a smartphone with email or an Internet browser.

Obviously those same folks would never consider a video doorbell with a small security camera. While in Indonesia, my son’s wife cued into their video doorbell  to see who came to their Michigan home. 

It probably would not have worked for me. After a few days of traveling, my phone gets laggy as my service provider slows down my Internet access. It takes forever to get a picture to appear on the screen.

If all that is confusing to you, then FWIW (for what it is worth), I am just trying to show you how all these words can fit into even old folks’ vocabulary. 

Some of the words just make sense, even those I had never encountered before the news release. Personally I really like adorkable. This succinct word describes that odd, awkward, quirky yet quite endearing person we all love. It even feels right on my tongue.

Not adorkable but definitely necessary this year is the side hustle. (A supplementary job for income.) A lot of that goes around with all the shrinkflation in the face of major inflation.We needed the word shrinkflation decades ago when my cousin asked, “Have you noticed how they make the candy bars smaller while keeping them at the same price?” 

Last year shrinkflation hit cake mixes as they lost a couple ounces and yet the box price remained the same.

Yeet! Is all I could say when I saw the larger boxes being sold at deep discount prices in order to make room for the smaller boxes at the original prices. Oh and ICYMI (in case you missed it) yeet is an expression of surprise, approval or enthusiasm. I understand the Razorback fans do a lot of yeets when their Hogs make a touchdown. As a verb it means to throw with force without regard for whatever it is you are tossing.

Just don’t yeet any old wheel or tire in the lake because it causes pollution. It will entertain a person who likes to go magnet fishing. That type of scavenging uses a magnet on a string to find metal hidden in water. Now there’s a hobby for those who claim to be environmentally friendly. Of course some of the environmentally friendly stuff is a bunch of greenwash. Yep, you got it, greenwash is a lot of hogwash from folks who make up policies or practices that appear to be more environmentally friendly than they really are. There is a lot of greenwash going around these days in the name of energy saving. Stay home, use a scrub bucket and hang your clothes out on the line to dry. Now that really saves energy.

I could go on, but I will finish with one appropriate for this time of year: Pumpkin Spice. If I have to define it, you are laggy in uploading even the most obvious new words to your vocabulary. Just add a touch of pumpkin spice to your plant-based meal (no meat meal) and wash it down with oat milk (fluid made of mashed oats, water, minerals and vitamins) to enjoy the seasonal flavor and some new words from the most recent Merriam-Webster Dictionary.