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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Word Games

Here is what happened. I was trying to learn how to better use Google to my advantage. In particular, I was reading up on how to assign qualitative values to emails as I read them. I stumbled when I came across the word “guillemet.” I knew the word in French, but I could not fathom the application in Gmail. In French, it means quotation mark. Well, according to Merriam-Webster (a subdivision of Encyclopedia Brittanica) , it means the same thing in computer lingo.* My appetite for words was whetted. First, I took a visual word test. I was shown test objects and had to find the suitable word to define them. I got 90%, tripping up on the stabilizer inside of a parachute. Who knew? Then I tried to define words rather than objects and I am proud with my 100% score, outstripping all others in my age group as well as all others in every age group.. Those word games I played while growing up have served me well for the past 45 years! I was delighted to receive a little positive reinforcement. Next time I am feeling downhearted, I know where to go to boost my self-esteem. I will fall back into the dictionary that I have always loved so much. While enjoying my visit to Merriam-Webster, I took time to listen to a video of an editor read some of the words that made it into the 2011 version of the dictionary. Take note; I did.
Social Media
Helicopter parenting
Boomerang child
Fist bump
I fought the impulse to editorialize or define these words for you. Simply because I harbor the hope that you will be motivated to look up the words yourself. After all, if President Obama drops in, he may ask to share a fist bump with you. If you look up the meaning of fist bump yourself, you are more likely to be prepared to honor him with one.
*"guillemet." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 05 Jan. 2012. .

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