University Press, which publishes the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) each year, recently announced the new batch of 2,000 words that have been added to its current edition.
Examples that did make it into the dictionary this year include Netbook – a portable Internet device; Staycation – an at home holiday; freemium – a free premium gift; Jeggings – skin-tight leggings that resemble jeans as well as hundreds of others.
We’ve heard of most of those words. However, I’m interested in the words that did NOT make the cut.
As a tribute to their failure, here are my top-10, favorite Non-Words as determined by the OED for 2010:
10. Pregreening – to creep forwards while waiting for a red light to change
9. Griefer – someone who spends their online time harassing others
8. Accordionated – being able to drive and refold a road map at the same time
7. Earworm – a catchy tune that frequently gets stuck in your head
6. Freegan – someone who rejects consumerism, usually by eating discarded food
5. Locavor – a person who tries to eat only locally grown or produced food
4. Espacular – something especially spectacular
3. Nonversation – a worthless conversation, wherein nothing is explained or otherwise elaborated upon
2. Optotoxical – a look that could kill, normally from a parent or spouse
1. Whinese – a term for the language spoken by children on lengthy trips
It was difficult to choose between Optotoxical and Whinese for the top spot, because I personally experience both on a regular basis.
But I ultimately went with Whinese because it not only captures the whining component but the continually “Why” questions (e.g. Why aren’t we there yet? Why can’t we get ice cream? Why can’t we get something at the gift shop…etc.)
The reason these words didn't make it into the OED is because they haven't penetrated usage by the general populace. So pick one and commit to use it on every occasion possible.
Please let me know which one you think is espacular!