Wednesday, July 11, 2007

JULY 11, 2007

It's that time of year again. . . the time where Merriam-Webster puts out the list of the new words they're adding to their dictionary. . . and we react by lamenting what a trainwreck the English language has become.

Yesterday, Merriam-Webster released 20 of the 100 new words that will be part of their new "Collegiate Dictionary", which comes out this fall. And the word that's headlining the pack is. . . GINORMOUS.

(--In case you don't know, that's an adjective that combines gigantic and enormous.)

John Morse, the president of Merriam-Webster, says, quote, "There will be linguistic conservatives who will turn their nose up at a word like 'ginormous'. But it's become a part of our language. It's used by professional writers in mainstream publications. It clearly has staying power."

He says that they were actually able to trace ginormous back to 1948, when it appeared in a British military slang dictionary.

To get consideration for the collegiate dictionary, a word has to start showing up regularly in mainstream writing. The editors believe THAT'S a sign that it's become part of the English language.

Here are some of the other words that are being added to the dictionary this year, along with their official definitions. . .

--SMACKDOWN. #1.) "The act of knocking down or bringing down an opponent." #2.) "A contest in entertainment wrestling." #3.) "A decisive defeat."

--SUDOKU. "A puzzle in which numbers are to be filled into a nine-by-nine grid of squares so that every row, column and three-by-three box contains the numbers one through nine."

--SPEED DATING. "An event at which each participant converses individually with all the prospective partners for a few minutes in order to select those with whom dates are desired."

--TELENOVELA. "A soap opera produced and televised in many Latin American countries."

--BOLLYWOOD. "The motion-picture industry in India."

--DVR. "Digital video recorder."

When you work with the same annoying people 40 hours a week, even the slightest thing can get on your nerves. Suck down these ways you can handle an irritating coworker. . .

1) TAKE A BREAK. If your coworker is doing something obnoxious and you're starting to get annoyed, step outside for a breath of fresh air or run out and grab a cup of coffee.

2) BE MENTALLY TOUGH. Don't let a coworker's bad habits hurt your concentration and productivity at work. Try to ignore them or limit your daily interactions with them.

3) DISCUSS THE PROBLEM WITH THEM. Nicely discuss the problem with your coworker, but do your best NOT to be confrontational. Make it a friendly chat. . . and add the bad behavior as a side note.

4) TALK WITH YOUR BOSS. If your friendly chat with the coworker doesn't work, talk to your boss. They should know how to handle the situation before it gets any worse.