New words – 22 October 2018

Caiaimage / Chris Ryan / OJO+ / Getty

cheating mafia noun [U]
UK /ˈtʃiːt.ɪŋ.ˈmæf.i.ə/ US /ˈtʃiːt.ɪŋ.ˈmɑː.fi.ə/
a system in which students can pay to receive help to pass their exams in order to increase their chances of securing a place at a good university

Students need top marks — sometimes over 99 percent — to get into the country’s highly oversubscribed universities and so examiners are bribed, answer sheets leaked and exam rooms infiltrated. No more, said Neena Srivastava, secretary of the Uttar Pradesh board of education, who described the cheating mafia as part of organized crime. “We are fighting against this evil. We have to cleanse the state of this menace.”
[Washington Post, 9 February 2018]

Continue reading “New words – 22 October 2018”

New words – 15 October 2018

Barbara Fischer, Australia / Moment / Getty

plastic footprint noun [C]
/ˈplæs.tɪk.ˈfʊt.prɪnt/
a measurement of the amount of plastic that someone uses and then discards, considered in terms of the resulting damage caused to the environment

As such, Greenpeace suggests a number of small changes people can make to reduce their plastic footprint. The first steps involve avoiding buying items such as plastic bottles of water and carrying a permanent or reusable one instead. It also advises using a refillable cup when buying takeaway coffee to help cut down on the estimated 2.5 billion disposable cups discarded every year in the UK.
[The Telegraph, 10 January 2018]

Continue reading “New words – 15 October 2018”

New words – 8 October 2018

Artisteer / iStock / Getty Images Plus

phast noun [C]
/fæst/
a ‘phone fast’: a period of time during which someone chooses not to use their smartphone

For the past month, I’ve been trying to phase my phone out – the same way you’d phase out an annoying acquaintance. I’ve started avoiding it for a whole 90 minutes before bed, which has been tough, I won’t lie, but definitely doable. It’s what Price calls a phast, or phone fast. She explains how regular, short breaks from our phones “are essential for our emotional and intellectual health”.
[www.image.ie, 15 February 2018]

attention economy noun [U]
UK /əˈten.ʃᵊn.iˈkɒn.ə.mi/ US /əˈten.ʃᵊn.iˈkɑː.nə.mi/
an economic system where the amount of information available on the internet means that companies must compete to attract the attention of potential consumers

As 63% of marketers world-wide set out to increase traffic and leads over the next 12 months, their first instinct will be to produce more content. Fight this instinct. Remember, we are living in an attention economy. The way to get attention today isn’t to shout more or shout louder; instead, think carefully about how you can use these 8 strategies to help people better navigate the information deluge.
[www.thinkgrowth.org, 20 June 2017]

surveillance capitalism noun [U]
UK /səˈveɪ.ləns.ˈkæp.ɪ.tᵊl.ɪ.zᵊm/ US /sɚˈveɪ.ləns.ˈkæp.ə.t̬ᵊl.ɪ.zᵊm/
an economic system where a company, usually a website, makes money by selling its users’ personal data to other companies

Google and Facebook, in particular, are avatars and practitioners of the new “surveillance capitalism”, the system whereby it is not our need for goods and services that creates the greatest corporate wealth, but the data we generate that can then be sold on.
[The Sunday Telegraph, 4 February 2018]

About new words

New words – 1 October 2018

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MAMIL noun [C]
/ˈmæm.ɪl/
abbreviation for middle-aged man in lycra: a man who takes up cycling in middle age, especially one who rides an expensive bike and spends a lot of money on clothing, accessories and so on

Richard’s transformation into a MAMIL began five years ago when, to get fit, he bought a road bike. At first, he wore a sensible pair of shorts and a loose-fitting jersey. But then the buying began in earnest. New wheels (the old ones were slowing him down, apparently), a pair of cycling shoes, then another pair, then a ‘quicker’ helmet, then a personal trainer to help him shed the pounds and improve his ‘power to weight ratio’.
[Daily Mail, 11 December 2014]

Continue reading “New words – 1 October 2018”

New words – 24 September 2018

Tetra Images / Getty

binge racing noun [U]
/ˈbɪndʒ.reɪ.sɪŋ/
the activity of watching a full series of a streamed TV programme in a 24-hour period

Netflix found that binge racing has increased 20 times over the past three years. What used to be a pastime reserved for the most committed television fans is now sweeping the nation – and the world … In 2013, some 200,000 people had done this, and now it’s up to 4 million and counting.
[www.mashable.com, 17 October 2017]

knitflixing noun [U]
/ˈnɪt.flɪksɪŋ/
the activity of knitting and watching a TV programme on Netflix at the same time

Once the activity of choice for our grandmas, knitting has seen a popularity boom across all ages in recent years … Now, there’s even a blog dedicated to knitflixing – aka watching Netflix while knitting – while more than 3,600 photos have been tagged #KnitFlix on Instagram.
[www.huffingtonpost.com, 19 February 2018]

hate watching noun [U]
UK /ˈheɪt.wɒtʃɪŋ/ US /ˈheɪt.wɑːtʃɪŋ/
the activity of watching a TV programme that you hate in order to gain enjoyment from criticizing it or complaining about it

Despite the embarrassment of rich, beautiful storytelling on TV, many of us indulge in exactly this sort of time-wasting habit: hate watching has reached new heights. Fed by almost endless options for shows to watch, bolstered by the snark contest that social media has become, viewers now regularly revel in finding plot holes and analysing awfulness just as much as they delight in quality programming.
[www.bbc.com/culture, 26 June 2017]

About new words

New words – 17 September 2018

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super listener noun [C]
UK /ˈsuː.pə.ˌlɪs.ənəʳ/ US /ˈsuː.pɚ.ˌlɪs.ənɚ/
someone who listens to a large number of podcasts and helps to make them well known or popular by recommending them or promoting them, especially on social media

As the report explains, super listeners are the most active slice of the podcast pie, and while they don’t fully represent every kind of podcast fan, they end up being the most supportive and participatory when it comes to podcasts. These listeners place a great deal of trust in podcasts as news and entertainment sources.
[Adweek, 16 November 2017]

vaguebooking noun [U]
/ˈveɪg.ˌbʊk.ɪŋ/
the activity of wording posts on social media sites in a deliberately vague but worrying way in order to prompt the people who read them to express concern about the poster

Why do social media users feel the need to post such inane drivel? I appreciate that we’re all different but surely, if something affects you emotionally to such a degree that you feel the need to partake in vaguebooking, you need to get off social media, pick up the phone and talk to a real friend. Better still, do it in person, over a coffee … with real – not virtual – hugs/rants/tears/joy.
[www.taobusinesssolutions.co.uk, 11 October 2017]

kidfluencer noun [C]
UK /ˈkɪd.flu.ən.səʳ/ US /ˈkɪd.flu.ən.səʳ/
a child who encourages people to buy a product by recommending it on social media

The toy industry used to be fronted by an elderly enthusiast manning the desk of an overcluttered shop. Now, thanks to the internet, the children are taking over. Despite the web’s role in gradually ousting the high street toy store, it also might be its saviour — in the form of “kidfluencers”.
[The Times, 7 October 2017]

About new words

New words – 10 September 2018

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cat cuddler noun [C]
UK /ˈkæt.kʌd.ləʳ/ US /ˈkæt.kʌd.lɚ/
someone whose job is to take care of cats at an animal rescue centre or veterinary clinic by grooming them and playing with them

Do you love cats? Would you like to spend all day petting cats – and being paid for it? If the answer to both questions is yes, you might be interested in the fact that a Dublin-based veterinary practice is looking to hire a ‘cat cuddler’. As in, they literally want to pay someone to play with kitties all day.
[www.metro.co.uk, 24 May 2017]

scare actor noun [C]
UK /ˈskeər.æk.təʳ/ US /ˈsker.æk.tɚ/
someone whose job is to scare people at tourist attractions, for example by dressing up as a monster and jumping out at them

A professional scare actor, Miss Yeung, 28, has been spending her weekend nights haunting people as Malice – one of the seven “Sinisters” – at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) at Universal Studios Singapore … “I hide in dark recesses and corners to jump and scare the guests, mostly screaming at them and giving the illusion that I am trying to kill them,” Miss Yeung said.
[www.tnp.sg, 16 October 2017]

tasker noun [C]
UK /ˈtæsk.əʳ/ US /ˈtæsk.ɚ/
someone who finds work by using an online marketplace where people list tasks they need done and people who want the job bid for it by stating the fee or hourly rate they are happy to work for

He says no one is forced to work at a particular time, do a job they don’t want to do, or work for a fee they’re not happy with. “It’s a fallacy that it’s a race to the bottom,” he says. “Less than 39% of tasks are actually assigned to the tasker who quotes the lowest price.”
[The Guardian, 10 March 2018]

About new words

New words – 3 September 2018

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jackpotting noun [U]
UK /ˈdʒæk.pɒt.ɪŋ/ US /ˈdʒæk.pɑːt.ɪŋ/
the crime of hacking into a cash machine in order to obtain money

Jackpotting has been rising worldwide in recent years, though it is unclear how much cash has been stolen because victims and police often do not disclose details. Hackers require physical access to the cash machine using specialised electronics and malware to take control, including an endoscope.
[The Guardian, 29 January 2018]

transaction laundering noun [U]
UK /trænˈzæk.ʃᵊn. ˌlɔːn.də.rɪŋ/ US /trænˈzæk.ʃᵊn.ˌlɑːn.dɚ.ɪŋ/
the crime of using a company’s payment system to process a payment for illegal products and services

Scammers were recently caught using fake Airbnb listings to launder money. Because there are so many listings on the site and no way to manually monitor all transactions, criminals can pay each other or cash out stolen credit cards in seconds. This electronic money laundering, also called transaction laundering, is a growing problem for regulators and law enforcement. According to our estimates, as much as $200 billion is laundered via ecommerce payments every year.
[www.linkedin.com/company/evercompliant, 28 February 2018]

cryptojacking noun [U]
UK /ˈkrɪp.təʊ.ˌdʒæk.ɪŋ/ US /ˈkrɪp.toʊ.ˌdʒæk.ɪŋ/
the illegal activity of secretly using someone’s computer to obtain new cryptocurrency (digital currency produced by a public network rather than by a government)

Cryptojacking doesn’t require a download, starts instantly, and works efficiently. Making it even more insidious, hackers can sneak a mining component onto unsuspecting websites and pilfer cryptocurrency off of the legitimate site’s traffic.
[www.wired.com, 29 December 2017]

About new words

New words – 20 August 2018

Anton Petrus / Moment / Getty

hotumn noun [C]
UK /ˈhɔː.təm/ US /ˈhɑː.tᵊm/
an autumn where the temperatures are warmer than usual for the season, thought to be at least partly caused by climate change

100-degree October temperatures? Welcome to ‘hotumn.’ We’re in the middle of a new, climate-changed kind of fall — one where you ask for that pumpkin spice latte iced, please … Scientists caution against attributing this year’s sweltering Sweatember and Hottober temps to climate change alone, but the long-term trend is clear: This certainly won’t be our last hotumn.
[grist.org, 25 October 2017]

bombogenesis noun [U]
UK /ˌbɒmb.əʊ.ˈdʒen.ə.sɪs/ US /ˌbɑːmb.oʊ.ˈdʒen.ə.sɪs/
the process by which a storm very quickly becomes more severe because of a sudden drop in atmospheric pressure

The eastern coast has experienced bombogenesis in the past, like the Superstorm of 1993, which is best known for a snowfall that covered parts of Alabama and went all the way to Maine. The NWS ranked it as “among the deadliest and most costly weather events of the 20th Century”.
[www.euronews.com, 3 January 2018]

supercell noun [C]
UK /ˈsuː.pə.sel/ US /ˈsuː.pɚ.sel/
a type of severe thunderstorm in which a column of rotating air is sucked upwards, and is usually accompanied by extreme weather conditions such as very heavy rain or hailstones

A frightening picture taken in Newcastle during the huge storms in June 2012 showed what was believed to be the North East’s first taste of a supercell. The freak storm caused flash flooding across the city, closed the Tyne Tunnel and left over 23,000 homes without power. Now five years later, it is feared one could strike again in our region.
[www.chroniclelive.co.uk, 21 June 2017]

About new words

New words – 6 August 2018

AntonioGuillem / iStock / Getty Images Plus

back whisperer noun [C]
UK /ˈbæk.ˌwɪs.pᵊr.əʳ/ US /ˈbæk.ˌwɪs.pɚ.ɚ/
a person who helps someone control and manage their back pain without using conventional drugs

Over time, Jakobson Ramin’s squad of back whisperers – rehab, postural and ergonomic specialists, cognitive psychologists and experts in meditation and kinesiology – left her convinced that outwitting back pain requires changing your attitude, from “victimised” to “in control”.
[The Telegraph, 22 January 2018]

carb rinsing noun [U]
UK /ˈkɑːb.rɪns.ɪŋ/ US /ˈkɑːrb.rɪns.ɪŋ/
washing the inside of one’s mouth with a liquid containing sugar and then spitting the liquid out, an activity thought to give the body an instant boost of energy

The researchers, from Coventry University, tested 12 healthy men in their early or mid-20s and found that carb rinsing significantly improved jumping height, the number of bench presses and squats, sprint times over 10 meters, and their sense of alertness.
[The Guardian, 6 February 2018]

DASH diet noun [U]
/ˈdæʃ.daɪ.ət/
abbreviation for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension: a way of eating that aims to reduce high blood pressure

One study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that a combination of the DASH diet and regular exercise can help hypertensive patients lower systolic blood pressure by up to 16 points in four months. Research also shows that the diet can help lower your LDL cholesterol, or the most harmful form of cholesterol.
[Men’s Health, 19 January 2018]

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