I grew up in a one-stop-light town in rural New England.
So it came as something of a revelation when I eventually made it to the bright lights, big city, and in my first class at university, the Journalism 101 professor opened things up by announcing the newest entries in the Oxford Dictionary of English.
It hadn’t occurred to me that the dictionary was a living, evolving record of the way we talk, not just a freshman’s most valuable resource.
My instructor was the classic, crusty, cantankerous news editor type, and that must be why I so distinctly recall the way he lit up as he revealed the one he loved best — “uptight.” His face squinched up with exquisite expression as he said it. He smiled.
That memory came flashing back this morning when my morning radio show announced a selection of the latest 2,000 entries, to be published today.
Among the new buzzwords are vuvuzela (ha) and cheeseball (someone said to be lacking in taste) — not to be confused with cheesehead. That’s a diehard fan of the Green Bay Packers, an American football team from an area that happens to produce the best damned cheddar in the country.
My personal favourite, because, after all these years, it goes so well with “uptight” is . . .
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