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Wednesday · September 24 2003

The Mirriam-Webster dictionary added over 10,000 words in the latest 11th edition. To make room, some words had to go. A sampling of words that are now obsolete...

  • snollygoster - sounds like an insult from 1913
  • microcopy
  • microreader
  • microreproduction - this trio must have something to do with mimeographing
  • record changer - no need with the SLIMP3
  • portapak - the grandfather to fanny packs?
  • pantdress - obsolete just like capri pants hopefully will be someday
  • pocket-handkerchief - a better name is?
  • poke bonnet - no clue
  • vitamin G - now known as riboflavin
  • lantern pinion - what else will I call that pinion?
  • frutescent - Renuzits are frutescent
  • wool stapler - see pocket-handkerchief
  • retirant - Floridian
  • sheep-dip - gross
  • ten-cent store - Wal-Mart
  • traffic manager - fair enough, we have stoplights now

What you had to say:
September 24 2003

Those snollygosters at MW think they can rip the lexicographical history from the pages of our lives?
How can they add words like "phat" in place of "record changer?" Since when do words that no longer represent objects manufactured by the USA become non-words? If obsoletion of an object governs its status as a word, then MW should delete "gentleman" and "democracy" from their pages.

September 24 2003

I almost stood up and clapped in my cube! Such passion for pantdresses and portapaks, I dare say you took my breath away.

September 24 2003

poke bonnet -> What prisoners had to wear on their heads - LOL

September 24 2003

pocket-handkerchief - a better name is?

Um, just plain "handkerchief?" Or do you make a distinction between the one in your pocket and the one on your head?

September 24 2003

Not only should they take the word "pocket handkerchief" out of the English language, but maybe the folks at MW should get together with the health department to outlaw handkerchiefs altogether. That's gross man. Who wants a ragful of snots in their pocket all day. Ever heard of Kleenex?

September 24 2003

I think some people wear handkerchiefs on their head, if I'm not mistaken it's a Jewish tradition. But you're right, I suppose handkerchief is plenty good. As for using the things, I know Dan likes to keep one handy. He's offered me one more than once.

I looked up poke bonnet and it's the name for those bonnets like the Ingalls women wore on "Little House on the Prairie". I suppose bonnet will work just fine for that from now on. It's also supposedly slang for a lazy person, but I've never heard that.

© 2003 Jason Keglovitz