Each year the Associated Press Stylebook, the bible for journalists and their editors, puts out an updated edition to evolve alongside the changing times. This year's stylebook saw the inclusion of a lengthened fashion, broadcast and social media section. Similar to additions made to the dictionary, when the AP Stylebook adds a word or phrase in, that word has made its mark on our current culture's lexicon.
The new sections have been developed to "demystify" frequently used terms in fashion, define vocabulary often found in broadcasting and catalog terminology, as well as give "practical advice," that journalists can use when dealing with social media. Basically, the AP Styleguide has learned about this new fangled web 2.0, and since it doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon, might as well recognize its existence. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Normally, I open my arms widely to old standards embracing new ones. Why shouldn't the AP Stylebook recognize current terminology, especially if it is being used on a regular basis? That was until I heard the report on NPR about what was being acknowledged as a "real word:" Jeggings.
The Associated Press Stylebook, often called the journalist's bible, is the media's go-to guide for things like grammar and punctuation. The book is often revised to keep up with vernacular, and its 2012 edition includes a chapter on fashion. In a Twitter chat this week, the AP decreed that it is OK to use the word jeggings to talk about the trendy hybrid of leggings and jeans. But they added that it is not OK to use the term jorts, as in jean shorts
I'll give them "jorts" because what the hell is that, but jeggings? Now this atrocious, seemingly short-lived fashion fad, which I pray nightly will please go away already because some of us are just too big on the bottom to pull it off, OK, is now a part of the AP Stylebook?
Just to be defiant, I have decided that I refuse to accept that "said word" used to describe the mutated crossbreed between jeans and leggings is in fact a word. Not gonna' do it.
It got me thinking about other colloquialisms that I abhor, which I decry should no longer exist.
7. Webinar A webinar, in theory, is a web-based seminar. The word seminar has traditionally been associated with the university system. A seminar was a lecture on a particular school of research. Seminar comes from the Latin "seminary," which is defined as:
A special school providing education in theology, religious history, etc., primarily to prepare students for the priesthood, ministry, or rabbinate.
At some point, someone, probably that dude Guy Kawasaki who has convinced us all that we too can be "Rich Dads," pushed the word seminar into the direction of meaning "somebody giving a lecture on something that involves a PowerPoint presentation with lots of clipart." Throw that clip art up on a web-based platform like GoToMeeting and you've got yourself a web-based seminar, AKA webinar. I know the business world needs a word for this, but let's just call a spade a spade. Why not name it, "60 minutes of your precious lunch time that you will never get back; can you just send me the PowerPoint?"
6. Upcycling Upcycling is the process of taking your junk and slapping it with a new paint job, calling it echo-friendly and selling it on Etsy. Sorry, not buying it. We already have a word to describe the process of selling your garbage to someone else; it's called a garage sale.
5. #'ing Anything That's Not on Twitter I admit that this isn't a specific word that needs to be eradicated from our current lineage; this is more of an attitude towards words that I find difficult to understand. Why are you (yes, you) placing # signs in front of words in candid conversations or e-mails?
I know that Google tracks our every move and predicts future behaviors like a super-human, alien, robot-spider God, but, as far as I know, Google is not looking to add your private email/Facebook (or human being, as in, we are alive and talking out loud) conversation into what's trending on Twitter. Besides, do you genuinely think #Ireallyhavebadcrampsandmyboyfriendistotallydrivingmetodrink is a popular topic right now? Well, that one might be.
4. Trending This word directly relates to the above grievance. To say something is "trending" used to give it some clout. A trend is a "general course or prevailing tendency." Previously, when you thought about a trend it was something that was popular long enough to eventually go on sale.
Acid washed jeans, slap bracelets, Pet Rocks, Skrillex, Mood Rings, Manic Panic, Hypercolor Tee shirts, vampires, Karaoke, Sarah Mclachlan, putting a belt on top of your clothing, Friendster, GeoCities, flip phones, AIM, henna and LOLcats are all examples of things that were trendy at some point. These trends lasted, some unfortunately, for at least a month. That is what a trend is.
"Trending" currently has come to mean something, that at this very minute, more people who take the time to add #s into their daily conversation happen to be posting on Twitter. Rarely does anything that is "trending" last as long as the prevailing popularity of the Pet Rock. 3. Open Letters to People That Are Not Reading Your Open Letters This is another one that you can chalk up to not really a word, but more of an odd transformation to the age-old concept of communication. We so often read "Open Letters" on Facebook timelines and blog postings such as:
"Dear old lady on line at Kroger who has spent the past five minutes trying to find a nickel in her purse, exact change is dead."
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I am always so confused by these remarks. Do you think the old lady on line at Kroger is going to read this? Is she your "friend?" Did you tag her in your post and check her into that location? If you answered no to all of the above, why do you think she might receive this correspondence?
Oh, you just wanted to tell everyone else about what happened to you on the checkout line at Kroger. This is absolutely fine, but please address it as such.
2. Kimye and Any Other Combination Of a Celebrity Couple That Will Ultimately Break Up It started with Brangelina, which for some reason worked; it was catchy and novel. Things have now gotten out of control. Kimye is, you guessed it, the combination of Kim Karadashian and Kanye West. If you didn't realize that clever amalgamation pertained to the above, you are not alone. It's a dumb nickname. They all are. Ashmi, Spederline, TomKat, Speidi, Khlomar, why does the media waste good brain power on coming up with these nicknames? In the time spent to devise such monikers, we could have all collectively stopped global warming.
1. Blogosphere Let's just all agree to call it the "Net" no matter what type of website we are talking about.