It was a ginormous year for the wordsmiths(1) at Merriam-Webster. Along with embracing the adjective that combines "gigantic" and "enormous," the dictionary publishers also got into Bollywood, sudoku and speed dating.
But their interest in India's motion-picture industry, number puzzles and trendy ways to meet people was all meant for a higher cause: updating the company's collegiate dictionary, which goes on sale this fall with about 100 newly added words.
As always, the yearly list gives meaning to the latest lingo in pop culture, technology and current events.
There's "crunk(2)," a style of Southern rap music; the abbreviated "DVR," for digital video recorder; and "IED," shorthand for the improvised explosive devices that have become common in the war in Iraq.
If it sounds as though Merriam-Webster is dropping its buttoned-down(3) image with too much talk of "smackdowns" (contests in entertainment wrestling) and "telenovelas" (Latin-American soap operas), consider it also is adding "gray literature" (hard-to-get written material) and "microgreen" (a shoot(4) of a standard salad plant.)。
No matter how odd some of the words might seem, the dictionary editors say each has the promise of sticking around in the American vocabulary.
"There will be linguistic conservatives(5) who will turn their nose up at(6) a word like `ginormous,'" said John Morse, Merriam-Webster's president. "But it's become a part of our language. It's used by professional writers in mainstream publications. It clearly has staying power."
One of those naysayers(7) is Allan Metcalf, a professor of English at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill., and the executive secretary of the American Dialect Society.
"A new word that stands out and is ostentatious(8) is going to sink like a lead balloon," he said. "It might enjoy a fringe(9) existence."
But Merriam-Webster traces ginormous back to 1948, when it appeared in a British dictionary of military slang. And in the past several years, its use has become, well, ginormous.
Visitors to the dictionary publisher's Web site picked "ginormous" as their favorite word that's not in the dictionary in 2005, and Merriam-Webster editors have spotted it in countless newspaper and magazine articles since 2000.
That's essentially the criteria(10) for making it into the collegiate dictionary — if a word shows up often enough in mainstream writing, the editors consider defining it.
But as editor Jim Lowe puts it: "Nobody has to use `ginormous' if they don't want to."
2. crunk：旷课乐，Crunk=Crazy+Drunk。Crunk Music在国内经常被翻译成旷课音乐，由南部说唱衍生而来，更有舞曲的风格。Crunk音乐的真正全球化要得益于Usher的《Yeah！》的惊人成功，这首歌使全世界刮起了一阵Crunk风暴，从街头到舞厅，从流行歌手到说唱艺人都加入到这种新的音乐风格中。
6. turn one’s nose up at：对…嗤之以鼻