The Old New Thing

Proto-Microspeak: The goat rodeo

Somebody at a meeting two years ago used the term "goat rodeo" to describe a completely confused situation. The term stuck with me as a really funny folksy analogy. It's not official Microspeak, but who knows, it may someday gain currency. I certainly enjoy saying it. "Goat rodeo." "Goat rodeo." "Goat rodeo." (Some earlier Microspeak ...

Merchandise your food with pride

There is a new placard in our cafeteria which reads "Merchandise your food with pride". That's the first time I've seen the word "merchandise" used as a verb. Here, I'll translate that last paragraph into management speak for you: The cafeteria newly signed a placard whose read is "Merchandise your food with pride". That's my first see of a...

That's just super (and a note on baking)

Microspeak has its own lexicon. (Even larger dictionary here. I take issue with some of the definitions, but they are generally accurate.) In addition to the rather extensive use of the word "so" as an introductory particle, another peculiarity of Microspeak is the unusually frequent use of the word "super" as an intensifier, particular when...

Words I'd like to ban in 2004

It seems to be fashionable to do a "top words" list this time of year. We have Google 2003 Zeitgeist, Top Yahoo! Searches 2003, Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year for 2003, YourDictionary.com's Top Ten Words of 2003, Lake Superior State University's Banished Words List for 2004; still waiting for the American Dialect Society's choice for ...