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Copyright: Copyright 2016 Logophilia Limited and Paul McFedries

flake rate

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 05:00:00 +0000

n. The percentage of people who have volunteered to help a campaign but do not show up.

Jon Carson: The technical term we like to use in the political world is we had a negative flake rate. Usually you have a bunch of volunteers scheduled to come and a certain percentage of them flake off. Well we had a negative flake rate. People were showing up and they were bringing extra friends with them.
—Ruairí Arrieta-Kenna, “'Oh Man, I Guess We've Won This Thing',” Politico, November 7, 2016

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USB condom

Wed, 09 Nov 2016 05:00:00 +0000

n. A modified USB adapter that prevents data from being stolen or malware from being installed when a mobile device's USB cable is plugged into a public charging station.

USB ports are ubiquitous on our electronic devices as a way to charge them and transfer data. But theyre also an easy entry point for malware or other nasty viruses. Enter the USB condom. These prophylactics for your digital devices are plugged to the end of a USB cable, and allow electricity to flow through while preventing data from being transferred or accessed.
—Joon Ian Wong, “People are buying 'USB condoms' to prevent their devices from catching nasty viruses,” Quartz, November 7, 2016

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Tue, 08 Nov 2016 05:00:00 +0000

n. An animal with a diet consisting mostly of meat.

House cats are an absolute ecological nightmare, implicated in the extinction of dozens of species, and posing a grave threat to many more....Theyre only follow[ing] their predatory instincts; ultimately the fault is with you. Your love of felines opens the door for these hypercarnivores to invade new environments and catch unsuspecting creatures unaware.
—Jacqueline Ronson, “Cats Are an Ecological Nightmare and Ruining the Environment,” Inverse, October 12, 2016

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speed geeking

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 04:00:00 +0000

n. An event in which multiple groups rotate through a series of short presentations.

If you havent tried speed geeking in your class, you should. You students will be engaged, communicating, thinking critically and having fun.
—Nancy Foote, “Speed Dating + Science = Speed Geeking,” The Unintentional Geek, February 26, 2016

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exercise desert

Thu, 03 Nov 2016 04:00:00 +0000

n. An area where exercise programs and facilities are either non-existent or unaffordable.

This is the reality of life inside what Holt described as an exercise desert. She explained these are places where there are conditions that do not support being physically active, based on the social demographic conditions and the daily realities for those who live in particular neighborhoods or communities.
—Emily McCoy Glover, “The Remarkable Privilege Of Running,” The Establishment, October 6, 2016

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Norman door

Wed, 02 Nov 2016 04:00:00 +0000

n. A door with a design that makes it difficult to determine the correct way to open the door.

A so-called Norman Door has design elements that give you the wrong usability signals to the point that special signage is needed to clarify how they work. Without signs, a user is left guessing about whether to push or pull, creating needless frustration.
—“Norman Doors: Don’t Know Whether to Push or Pull? Blame Design,” 99% Invisible, February 26, 2016

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Tue, 01 Nov 2016 04:00:00 +0000

n. A period of age-related anxiety, stress, and self-doubt experienced by some people in their thirties.

A thrisis is a pre-mid-life crisis that happens in your 30s -- rather than the stereotypical crisis that is said to hit in your 40s. A thrisis often slams you when you turn 30, although for some it can hit anytime during their thirties.
—Amanda Rose, “Signs you’re suffering a thrisis and how to cope,” The Business Woman, January 23, 2015

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stealth health

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 04:00:00 +0000

n. The practice of making a recipe or food product healthier without advertising the change to consumers.

And once a reformulated food passes the test, companies often avoid saying anything on the label or in advertisements about the nutritional improvements -- especially when it comes to salt. Most people dont think they need to cut back on sodium. Better to say nothing. It's known in the trade as "stealth health."
—Corby Kummer, “Pie In the Sky,” The New York Times, October 5, 2016

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Tue, 11 Oct 2016 04:00:00 +0000

pp. Publicly reproaching a person for not voting, or for voting in a way that betrays or ignores a larger cause or principle.

In the upcoming election, a significant amount of Americans have reported plans to vote for their third-party conscience over the lesser of two mainstream evils. In response, many shame these voters as selfish idealists whose wasted protest vote actually makes them complicit in electing the least desirable mainstream candidate. This kind of vote-shaming relies on misconceptions about our responsibilities as voters.
—“Quick-Takes: Voting Third Party,” The Guardian (San Diego), October 2, 2016

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Thu, 22 Sep 2016 04:00:00 +0000

v. To conduct a text message conversation while walking.

Idaho town Rexburg was among the first in the United States to impose a US$50 (S$68) fine on anyone found crossing a street while texting on a phone. The law was enacted in April 2011 and signs were put up all over the city to remind pedestrians not to text-walk.
—Chang May Choon, “Seoul puts up road safety signs to warn 'smartphone zombies',” The Straits Times, June 27, 2016

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