New words – 2 September 2013

nuclear forensics noun the analysis of markers in nuclear material such as the concentration of isotopes and the size of grains to determine where the material originated

The archive, […], is part of the rapidly advancing field of nuclear forensics, which aims to trace clandestine nuclear material to the nation and even the reactor it came from.

[Smithsonian (US history, science, and culture magazine) Feb. 2013]

positive procrastination noun the technique of getting things done by working on one task as a way to procrastinate and avoid doing another task

Alas, there’s no good data, and for now many self-control researchers have doubts about positive procrastination.

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 15 Jan 2013]

regrettable substitution noun an attempt to protect people from a harmful substance that results in those people being exposed to a different harmful substance

A hard-fought victory by OSHA in controlling one source of deadly fumes led workers to be exposed to something worse — a phenomenon […] lamented in government parlance as ‘regrettable substitution.’

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 31 March 2013]

xenointoxication noun the exterminating of biting insects by ingesting a substance that is poisonous to the insect and kills it when the insect bites you

Dr. Hotez’s hesitation is mostly that bedbugs […] do not cause disease, so xenointoxication seems pretty heavy-handed.

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 01 Jan 2013]

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