12.28.14 — Words, Words, Words — the Acrostic


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Sunday, December 28, 2014

ACROSTIC, Puzzle by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon
Edited by Will Shortz

This Sunday’s acrostic draws a quotation from Word Spy: The Word Lover’s Guide to Modern Culture by Paul McFedries.

Language wears many hats, but its most important job is to help us name or describe what's in the world. Words define us, our actions, even our existence. And just when you think that you have all the words you need, you discover new ones, hear new uses for old ones or see them mutate right before your eyes—a neologism is born.

Those neologisms are actually one of the best ways of keeping tabs on the way our world and culture are changing. One of the people who's been keeping tabs is Paul McFedries, the president of Logophilia Limited (logophilia is Greek for "the love of words"). His scorecard is Word Spy, a daily newsletter that has been reporting from the neological frontier since 1998 and that has more than 100,000 visitors a month and more than 12 million page views. In Word Spy, McFedries demonstrates how new words both reflect and illuminate not only the subcultures that coin them but also the larger culture in which these groups exist. ~ Amazon/com Book Description 

The quotation:  [N]EOLOGISMS ARE OFTEN JUST… FUN.  WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE ABOUT A WORD SUCH AS ZITCOM, A TELEVISION SITCOM AIMED AT OR FEATURING TEENAGERS?  OR CONSIDER THE TORPEDO, AN INEPT EMPLOYEE WHO QUITS TO GO WORK FOR A RIVAL COMPANY.

The author’s name and the title of the work:  PAUL MCFEDRIES, “WORD SPY”

A. On he case ahead of time, PROACTIVE
B. Buzzing, as a social media?, ATWITTER
C. Most unusual (a word actually in the Scrabble dictionary), UNIQUEST
D. Nanosecond’s rough equivalent (hyph.), LIGHT-FOOT
E. 1988 Michael Jackson autobiography, MOONWALK
F. Get animated (2 wds.), COME ALIVE
G. Comrades in arms; exhibition soccer matches, FRIENDLIES
H. Endorsement for a paperless office (hyph.), E-SIGNATURE
I. Guy trained in the use of T-squares and compasses, DRAFTSMAN
J. Zapper for a couch potato, REMOTE
K. Confrontational, provocative (hyph.), IN-YOUR-FACE
L. Major source of income for Nepal and Ecuador, ECOTOURISM
M. Item that may be Photoshopped, SNAPSHOT
N. Gender-neutral server, WAITRON
O. Person who’s easy to grok (2 wds.), OPEN BOOK
P. Spent nuke materials, RADWASTE
Q. Prominent part of a vampire, DOGTOOTH
R. Decide against staycation, say, SOJOURN
S. Certain white-collar crime (2 wds.), PONZI SCHEME
T. Hybrid mind/body fitness regimen, YOGALATES

The full paragraph of the quotation:  The universal appeal of new words is leavened by he happy fact that neologisms are often just plain fun.  What’s not to like about a word such as “zitcom“, a television sitcom aimed at or featuring teenagers?  Or consider the “torpedo“, an inept employee who quits to go work for a rival company.~ “Word Spy”

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2 comments:

tony romabarian said...

Why is the first letter of neologisms in braces? (since the whole thing is capitalized)

DONALD said...

In the full quotation, neologisms is lower case, occurring within the sentence, whereas in the acrostic quote it appears as though it is the beginning of a sentence, thus the brackets.