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Stressed Out Dweebs: This Is Your Year


Up Front: NEOLOGY LOG

STRESSED-OUT DWEEBS: THIS IS YOUR YEAR

Quick. What do "supercomputer" and "dweeb" have in common? True, they both sit in a cold room and run programs all day, but both words also have the distinction of finally making it into Merriam-Webster's recently released 10th edition Collegiate Dictionary.

Supercomputers have been around for a couple of decades, so why did it take so long for the word to make it into the dictionary? "We're trying to record language as it appears in popular speech," says James Lowe, senior editor at Merriam-Webster, whose dictionary is updated every year. "We record a word's incidence in print, and sometimes that takes longer than you would think."

Apparently so. Other words that made the 10th edition: "boom box," "baby bust," "politically correct," "Minoxidil," "stressed out," "voice mail," "automated teller machine," and "support group." Oh, yeah. "Attention deficit disorder," too. What's coming up for inclusion in the next year's update? "Mountain bike," "open mike," and "caffe latte." At this rate, the Information Superhighway will have been long-established--and buzzing with new words--before it shows up in the dictionary.


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