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Do We Really Need These New Words?


TIME magazine this week announced that the 114-year-old Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary will add, among other words, F-bombsexting and flexitarian.

Are these words really necessary?

We may not have specific words to take the place of these, but I think they’re moot and superfluous (look them up).

Take F-bomb. We all know what it stands for, the F being one of George Carlin’s “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.”

We have other bombs. Atomic and hydrogen come to mind. But we don’t usually say “a-bomb” or “h-bomb,” so why do we need F-bomb?

Sexting means texting sexually explicit material to another person. First of all, I object to text as a verb. It’s a noun referring to a type of book. However, my concern is that without the sexual reference, people might think it means “the act of making one or more sextets.”

Finally, there’s flexitarian. It could refer to either a person who eats a vegetable-based diet with some meat, or that type of diet. TIME calls it a “semivegetarian.” Isn’t that a perfectly good word instead of flexitarian? It includes a known prefix, semi-, and a perfectly usable word, vegetarian.

By using semivegetarian, we prevent people from thinking it’s some sort of person who likes flexing his/her muscles or anything else that flexes.

So, enjoy those new words if you must, but the word snob here won’t.

Until next time! Use the right words!



August 20, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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