Saturday, 12 August 2017

mouse potato

Quartz makes an interesting study on how the maturing fears and foibles of a society are reflected in their neologisms through a dictionary tool that records the year when new terms began to be appearing in print, making a fairly direct correlation between what people were experiencing by what they hadn’t quite the words for and needed redefinition and nuance.  Like with other examples, it’s surprising to learn that what one might regard as a contemporary nonce word is actually somewhat older and just returning to common-parlance: cisgender (1994), humblebrag (2002), carbon-footprint and meh (1992) to date a few. The term mouse potato describes someone who couldn’t get enough screen time was coined in 1993 (the same year as metrosexual, unfriend and binge-watch) but never caught on. Maybe its time has come around again.  Visit Quartz at the link up top for more words and to conduct your own year-by-year lexical survey.