New words – 2 December 2013

cultured leather noun leather grown from skin cells

Modern Meadow is first focusing on creating cultured leather. Its process does not use stem cells but rather skin fibroblasts, specialized cells that produce collagen.

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 14 May 2013]

digital afterlife noun what remains of a person online after their death

Google helps users plan digital afterlife

[ (article title) 12 April 2013]

digital fabrication noun the making of an object from a digital model or program, as for example, with a 3-D printer

“Digital fabrication will allow individuals to design and produce tangible objects on demand, wherever and whenever they need them,” Neil Gershenfeld, a physicist at M.I.T., wrote.

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 09 April 2013]

About new words

2 thoughts on “New words – 2 December 2013

    1. The word “fabrication”: has two distinct meanings with two different connotations. On one hand, “fabrication” can mean “manufacture” or “production,” as in the fabrication of plywood or the fabrication of factory-built housing. The connotation here is neutral — descriptive, rather than judgmental — and I think that fabrication by a 3-D printer fills this bill.

      The second meaning, which is always figurative (it never refers to a physical process) is “fiction, invention, outright lie.” The connotation here is obviously negative, but it cannot refer to something you can hold in your hand.

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