An unsuspecting world of literature was viciously assaulted when Oxford English Dictionary (OED) launched its “Word of the Year” from silos in Great Britain.
The word, “post-truth,” which is used by five people on TV, led this latest attack on readers. For many straining under the 171,000 entries already in the language, this was the word that pushed them over the edge. English teachers report emergency rooms at liberal arts colleges are overflowing, with up to three patients per desk.
One woman suffering from word-shock spoke to Boardman. “I tried to say my friend speaks haltingly, but I didn’t know whether to use the word ‘stutter’ or ‘stammer’ or ‘sputter’…? I looked them up, but there’s no difference between their meanings. So I hesitated — but did I hesitate, pause or balk or stumble, waver, dither, delay, dillydally, fumble, flounder, linger…? — They all mean the same thing and more synonyms keep being made! Why, God, won’t they stop, halt, cease, end, terminate, finish, quit, desist…?”
Spanish, long considered a safe haven for those fleeing persecution by complex languages, has seen a flood of English-speaking refugees in its classrooms since the stepped-up campaigns of verbal barrage by the OED and the online Urban Dictionary.
Poet Malcolm Frunge has a different problem with OED. “All these smarty pants adding new words to the dictionary,” he says, “yet they still can’t be bothered to add one that rhymes with ‘orange.'”
“These dictionarie (sic) folk have no care for the commoner,” writes local literatus Jon Smyth who thinks he’s British even though he comes from London and has sworn off dictionaries. “Cusum, aggrupation, flerovium… Who uses such words? The blighters even made a picture of an emoji Word of the Yeer (sic) back in aught-15. How can a picture be a word? It’s a bleeding picture! What’ll it be next? Will I be a word too or my auto? We need the bloody Human Rights Commission. Its (sic) a freegin’ war crime, all right. Someone has to stop them before they enslave us all.”
Experts fear it is too late. Oxford is developing new, more fearsome forms of linguistic assault. Rumored to be in the works is an interjection referring to the publisher’s dog, a preposition whose definition depends on what shoes Selena Gomez wears, and a transitive verb that fetuses use in the womb which requires the use of two auxiliary verbs and a direct object that does not normally occur in Nature. Worst of all are their plans for a noun so incredibly difficult to spell and pronounce, leaders at the headquarters of the OED Reichstag boast it will cause the immediate surrender of thousands of brave fighters writing on the literary front.
Several other words were unleashed. Here they are and how to use them:
Bracketology — The study of beer-based drinks used for betting on college sports.
Necrogermanopawnphobia — Fear that a dead German will make you play a game of chess with him.
Post-Bob Knepper — First coined by the wife of Forestville resident Bob Knepper.
How to use it: “My life is going great now — I’m completely post-Bob Knepper.”
Alt-Chicken Soup — Soup that you make after you run out of chicken soup, but that you still tell your family is chicken soup to not disappoint them.
Alt-Steak — Tofu. OED has said no one is going for this term and they may withdraw it soon.
Fishswinger — A loanword from the tiny Greek island of Hermes where fishermen swing their catch around their heads to threaten pirates. It is used to mean someone who prepares taxes. It replaces the now-outdated word, “accountant,” which now means someone who threatens pirates with a fish.
How to use it: “I cast my taxes at a fishswinger by the bank maggots to scale off a few river pigeons.”
Mayor-Cockayne — A term that refers to the current mayor of Bristol.
How to use it: “The mayor of Bristol is Mayor-Cockayne.”
How to use it incorrectly: “The chairman of the Bristol Zoning Commission is Mayor-Cockayne.”