useless information of the day

James A. Landau <> JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Mon Nov 24 22:44:57 UTC 2008

Netscape (you know, those people who keep putting that “just the Net you need” blurb on my posts) today has the following on its splash page:

15 Words Kids Think You Don't Know

Translate this: Caitlyn and her boo were cupcaking in the hallway! It means Caitlyn and her boyfriend were kissing in the hallway. AARP has done geezers everywhere a favor and produced a dictionary of words kids know and use all the time--but think adults don't know. It's a way to talk in code in front the 'rents.

So the next time the young 'uns start jabbering gibberish, you might just catch one of these words they think you don't know:

Boo: boyfriend or girlfriend
Brodown: boys' night out
Bromance: close, but non-sexual, relationship between two men
Check vitals: to check your e-mail, cell phone and voice mail
Cupcaking: engaging in a public display of affection
Disco nap: a short nap before a night out clubbing
Floss: to show off your wealth, often in a car
Fo' shizzle: certainly
They aren't hateful. They aren't disgusting. They're just annoying. Find out which two words Webster's says are the ugliest in the English language.
Peeps: people; your closest friends or family
Scooby doos: good shoes
Sick: extremely cool
Talk smack: to speak negatively or belittle someone else, often in the heat of competition
Tatted out: covered in tattoos
Tramp stamp: a tattoo on a woman's lower back
Wikidemia: a term paper that was researched entirely on Wikipedia

Ugliest Two Words in English
They aren't hateful. They aren't disgusting. They're just annoying. The editors of the Webster's New World College Dictionary say the two ugliest words in the English language are: "like" and "go."
As in: "And I go, 'I can't believe it!' and she's like, 'You didn't know?'"

Once a year, the dictionary editors stop their serious work and indulge in a good rant about the state of the English language. Here is the best of what they consider to be the worst:

Most irksome euphemism: Issues
We used to have problems. Now we have issues.

Worst replacement for good old "yes" or "I agree": Absolutely
The close runner-up is "definitely."

Most cheapened cherished word: Awesome
A C+ on an algebra test is mediocre, not awesome. Dude.

Worst unnecessary lead-in: I mean
I mean, if you didn't mean it, you wouldn't be saying it!

Most infuriating idiocy in news headlines: Neck in neck
And it's used everywhere, including the New York Times, the Seattle Post Intelligencer, Reuters, Fox News, the Akron Beacon-Journal and too many others.

Worst orthographic innovation: Stunt spelling
This is a cutesy-poo, middle school infatuation that began as early as Mötley Crüe, progressed to phat and continues downward with boyz.

Worst grammatical abuse: The present progressive
"i'm lovin' it" without a capital "I" and without a period is the idiocy reduced to its essentials. Well, McDonald's thought it so fine that they took out a trademark on it.

           James A. Landau
           test engineer
           Northrop-Grumman Information Technology
           8025 Black Horse Pike, Suite 300
           West Atlantic City NJ 08232 USA

Netscape.  Just the Net You Need.

The American Dialect Society -

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