Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Nov 16 17:49:55 UTC 2010

On Tue, Nov 16, 2010 at 12:30 PM, Paul Frank <paulfrank at> wrote:
> Speaking of chitchat, a word I have not seen in any of my
> dictionaries, including the OED, is "chatter," meaning electronic
> chatter, specifically email, mailing list, online forum, and cellphone
> communication among people who are suspected having ties to terrorists
> or terrorism and who're being monitored by intelligence agencies.

Some dictionaries have it.

AHD: "Communication, such as e-mail and cell phone calls, between
people involved in terrorism and espionage as monitored by a
government agency."

MWCD: "Electronic and especially radio communication between
individuals engaged in a common or related form of activity; also :
such chatter regarding future hostile activities."


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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