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Diabolically Arcane

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19 July, 2012

Finally there’s a word for those senior execs – think Barclays Bank or Enron – who receive a swollen pay packet, and act with smug complacency, despite the glaring evidence of their incompetence. Are you ready for it?


That’s among my favourites in a sprawling list of possible new words. Another is a catch-all term for vain, dim, anti-reading narcissists: ILLITERATI. And I kinda like WORDYCUFFS too – being a heated verbal exchange. Or YARB: one who talks about their job too often.

You can find the list over at the Collins Dictionary, with the details of the competition, and how to win a daily prize for the smartest submission. (The harvesting runs until August 31 – so give the challenge a decent chew.)

Regular Dabblers will recall our own neologism contest, back in November, where the likes of Em, SK, Sam and KM all won plaudits for some ingenious coinage. I can only urge those same four players to launch their creations into a wider world – and win a gewgaw for your troubles.

In the meantime, here’s a challenge. What’s an action, notion, trend, object that sorely lacks a name? Add your inkling to the Comments and see if we Word Doctors can’t fill the void. Here are two I’ve recently received:

  • What is the long f-like symbol that serves as an s in early calligraphy? (from Peter Cane)
  • What are the two dots that sit above the second O of cooperate, or second E of reentry? The symbol resembles an umlaut, yet serves to supplant the need for a hyphen. (David Andrew)

Any takers? Any other gaps in need of grouting?

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Riddledom Rave

If you missed my riddle chat with Richard Fidler, then feel free to slurp the podcast at http://ab.co/1I9t1x5

Text-speak is creeping into Scrabble. Where do you sit?
OBVS I'm fine with it
Entrenched stuff - like LOL and OMG - but no more.
Words With Friends, maybe. Scrabble, no
Let the 'real' dictionaries decide first
Just the handy stuff, like FAQ and EUW
I mean, WTF?! No way
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