Back to Language Notes Index Page
A Neologist's Notebook:
New Words, Odd Words, and Creative Usages
Volume 1, Number 2
"Died, Jerome Weidman, 85, novelist and playwright, who depicted Big Apple archetypes from fast-talking garmentos to frenetic politicians." [Time 19 Oct. 1998]
"While reviews of the novel were not uniformly favorable, most critics did acknowledge that Brill among the Ruins was a breakthrough book for Bourjaily. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, James R. Frakes observed, ‘Vance Bourjaily belongs to an unfortunate group of American novelists who have been for too many years . . . "almosting it."’" [Contemporary Authors profile of Vance Bourjaily]
Boomerang Kids: Children who return home to live with their parents after graduating from college or initially moving out on their own. [Psychology Today, Sep. 2003]
Pharming: in a new type of recreational drug use, teenagers gather and mix whatever over-the-counter and prescription drugs are available and then ingest a handful of the drugs to see what the effects might be. (Countdown with Keith Obermann, MSNBC,19 Sep. 2003).
Book Title: U F O’s and Ufology, by Paul Devereaux and Peter Brooksmith.
Book Title: Crusaders, Scoundrels, Journalists: The Newseum's Most Intriguing Newspeople. Ed. Eric Newton.
"Dido once again comes off as a younger, hipper Sarah Maclachlan, blending Celtic-flavored folk-pop with ambient trip-hop beats." [People 20 Oct. 2003]
"cause marketing": a company’s exploitation of a good cause, such as the effort against breast cancer, to market its products–when the company profits much more than the cause from the marketing (MSNBC news commentary, 28 Oct. 2003).
Book Title: Lillian Too’s 168 Feng Shui Ways to Declutter Your Home.
Advertisement: "New L’Oreal Wrinkle De-Crease."
"wet jobs": KGB slang for assassinations [London Times 4 Feb. 1992].
"Kudos to [the writer of a persuasive piece] for showing such inspired courtroom cunning." [New York Times 15 Dec. 1991].
"The King Brothers": CIA slang for the KGB [The Independent (London) 20 Oct. 1991:32].
''a characterological theoretician'': a description of Kittredge Montague’s specialty as a psychological researcher [Norman Mailer’s Harlot’s Ghost].
"Sufi Surfing Pico Iyer and the Californication of mystical Islam" [The Weekly Standard 22 Sep. 2003]
"Commodification--the process of transforming things into objects for sale--has become a totalizing cultural force." [Hedgehog Review Dec. 2003]
"Can the choices an author makes—be they the result of constant triturating or the natural flow of unrevised sentences—help to define what style consists in or of?" [Call for Papers, Cercles Dec. 2003].
"‘viatical’ policies, in which fatally ill people, strapped for cash, sell their [life-insurance] policies at deep discounts" [New York Times 8 Dec. 2002]
"I’m seeking submissions for a proposed panel titled ‘Re-constructing Heterosexuality, Challenging Heteronormativity.’" The panel will challenge a narrow and essentialized notion of "heterosexuality" through critical readings of various representationsof heterosexual identities and practices in contemporary literary texts, cinema, TV, performances and other media. It will thereby respond to the challenges and limitations of queer and feminist theories of heterosexual subjectivities. I am interested in a whole range of different outlooks and practices within what was once imagined to be "straight" sexual identification. Of particular interest are the power differentials of race, class, gender, etc., the instabilities of heterosexual subject positions and the different performances of straightness. The following questions should be considered: How do the literary and cultural reconstructions of heterosexuality participate in a radical critique of sexuality? How does the potential denaturalization of heterosexuality undermine or reaffirm hegemonic subject positions?" [Call for Papers, January 2004]
Tortuous: having or marked by repeated turns or bends; not straightforward, circuitous, devious; highly involved, complex. [From the Latin tortus through Anglo-Norman and Middle English.] EX: He enjoyed driving the tortuous road. OR He defended his position with tortuous reasoning.
Toturous: of, relating to, or causing torture; twisted, strained. EX: He endured the torturous discomfort. OR He defended his position with torturous reasoning.