The good folks who produce The Merriam-Webster Dictionary recently announced the addition of 640 new words to the newest edition. Words like “go-cup” (a beverage cup to take out of the restaurant), “bioabsorbable” (a substance that can be absorbed by living tissue), and “on-brand” (consistent with a particular public image or identity).
Some of the additions, such as “screen time” (to refer to time spent in front of a device with a screen) are overdue. Others, such as “qubit” (a “unit of information in a computational model based on the unstable qualities of quantum mechanics, a blend of quantum and bit”), seem, well, less useful than others (especially for Bible readers who recognize the term’s similarity to “cubit,” the word used to describe lengths in building Noah’s ark, for example.
But other terms that I would like to see added were strangely overlooked—words that apply to the writing-and-publishing life, which have far more utility than “qubit,” for crying out loud. Here are only a few examples:
- Adjectheavy: the adjective that describes a manuscript in which adjectives are overused.
- Crash landing page: a poorly-executed website landing page for an author or book.
- Contagiarism: trying to write in the style of a favorite, much-read author whose voice just kinda resonates in your head.
- Deep purple prose: writing that goes so far beyond ornate, or flowery, language as to turn a piece of writing into so much smoke on the water.
- POVV: “point of view variance.” It’s what happens when the author forgets which character’s head he or she is in.
- Pratform: falling on your face while attempting to build your platform.
- Poofreading: the practice in proofreading of reading what you meant to write, not what you actually wrote.
- Shudder-send: the moment of panic immediately after sending an email that you thought was perfect but which you realized, in the split second before the email disappears from view, contained an embarrassing and obvious mistake.
- Slushee pile: a stack of used Slushee cups and chocolate candy wrappers accumulated by a writer on deadline.
- Transgenre: a piece of writing that crosses lines into several genres. Example: Amish steampunk romantic suspense novel.
These are just a few helpful words for the next Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary: Writer’s Edition. I’m sure the faithful readers of this blog will have suggestions of their own to make. What words and definitions would you add?