If you don't like "whizzinator"...

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Apr 25 01:49:45 UTC 2005

Here's another relatively new lexical item that doesn't involve trade
names.  LinguistList just sent out this ToC for a journal issue:

Language Problems and Language Planning
Volume Number:  27
Issue Number:  2
Issue Date:  2003

Main Text:

Table of contents


Can anything be done about the "glottophagy" of English? A bibliographical
survey with a political conclusion
Andrea Chiti-Batelli 137-153
So I googled "glottophagy", a word I'm confident I'd never seen
before but immediately understood in this context, and found a number
of hits but virtually all of them referencing Chiti-Batelli's work,
either under this title or something closely related with an abstract
asking virtually the same question.  But it also appears in a web
presentation by Dr. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, including the following:

English is today the world's most important killer languageŠ
.Š but most dominant languages function as killer languages vis-à-vis
smaller languages. There is a nested hierarchy of languages, and
glottophagy ("language cannibalism").
Is Finnish functioning as a killer language in relation to immigrant
minority  languages in most domains?

Anyway, a useful term, whoever invented it and when.

(And on a different topic:  Did anyone else catch the story on
tonight's ABC World News Tonight about American farmers who have
switched from raising cattle to raising goats? There were various
explanations for the switch, e.g. how the goats require less land,
they're more popular as meat now given various ethnic cuisines and
the fact that goat meat isn't taboo for any cultures [except, I would
have thought, Buddhists and other vegetarians], the fact that they're
unfussy eaters themselves, and then finally the fact that they're so
friendly, affectionate, and interactive.  One farmer then remarked,
chucking one of his goats under the chin, something like "They want
rubbed", said the farmer.  And then the reporter signed off, just
"This is [whoever], from [someplace,] Pennsylvania the story was--as
I expected--from Pennsylvania, although I missed the specific locale.
(I'm assuming western Pa.)

(Also today, in the NYT Education Life section, an article on college
slang, basically excerpts from a couple of web collections linked

The New York Times
April 24, 2005 Sunday
  SECTION: Section 4A; Column 1; Education Life Supplement; LANGUAGE; Pg. 32
  HEADLINE: Words to BaffleYour Spell Check
  BYLINE: By James R. Petersen

  COLLEGE slang is having a bit of a moment. Ben Applebaum and Derrick
Pittman, who run http://CollegeStories.com, recently published a
guide to it. Tom Wolfe, who made his reputation listening to the
patois of Merry Pranksters and Pump House Gang surfers, has turned
college slang into a novel, ''I Am Charlotte Simmons.'' And the
Campus Slang Research Project at California State
  Polytechnic University in Pomona runs a glossary of words collected
from campuses around the country

  To wander through these sources is to relive your college days with
subtitles. (Note that words for bad behavior far exceed those for

  Dormcest: Hooking up with someone who lives in the same residence
hall. Walk of shame: The stroll back to your room after hooking up,
wearing the same clothes you had on the day before.
  Creeping: Cheating on someone. Mugg: To kiss. Mean-mugg: To reject.
To style: To flirt. Style project: Object of interest. Shasta:
Second-tier romantic choice, like a cheap cola. A Monet:
  Someone who, like an Impressionist painting, looks better from afar.
Brown bag special: Someone so ugly you want to hide their face. On
the slab: An attractive guy. Thick: A girl with a nice

  Crunked up, fried, flapjacked,swerved, t-rashed, toasted, faded,
wrenched, shammered, shucked,keyed, moofed, perved, housed,bunked,
cocked, crushed, hammered, belligerent, looped. Bar
  scars: Wristbands and ink stamps that mark a night on the town.

  Sweet, da bomb, dope, tight, supertight, hollatight, badical,
bomdiggity, buttah, sick, squish, hype, awesome, decent, obese
(beyond phat). Money: Awesome or great, but seldom currency. I. T.
  Z. : To excel, as in being ''in the zone. '' Bringing on the
raucous, firing up the sun: To do really well.

  Brad: Cool person. Herb or Larry: Clueless person. Dude: Person. To
marinate: To relax. Let's ace, bounce, kick it, bag it, bolt, Audi
(or, if truly bored, let's Audi 5000): Suggestion that an exit
  is in order; impatience.


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