I love words. I am fascinated Bill Bryson’s books The Mother Tongue and Made in America, was enthralled by Simon Winchester’s The Professor and the Madman, and even just bought a Concise OED (and I’m very sad that the full version will no longer be released in print). So, when I came across Schott’s Vocab on the New York Times website, I was definitely intrigued.
From the site: “Schott’s Vocab is a repository of unconsidered lexicographical trifles — some serious, others frivolous, some neologized, others newly newsworthy. Each day, Schott’s Vocab explores news sites around the world to find words and phrases that encapsulate the times in which we live or shed light on a story of note. If language is the archives of history, as Emerson believed, then Schott’s Vocab is an attempt to index those archives on the fly.”
Some of Schott’s recent posts are about the “bonfire of the billionaires,” a term that describes the recent reduction in the wealthy population in Britain, the “carbon bootprint,” and “climigration.” I think my favorite post discusses the various terms used to describe the recent outbreak of swine flu and the precautions that people are taking to prevent the spread of the illness:
“California Schools Superintendent Jack O’Connell said that last week teachers reminded students that if they have to sneeze, to put their mouths into the crook of one of their elbows. ‘The students started calling that the Dracula Sneeze, and we picked up on that.'”
So, if you also like words, and need a little diversion from the end of the semester chaos, take a few minutes to check out Schott’s Vocab!