Comments by billprice

  • Portmanteau of "documentary" and "propaganda" encountered in this Washington Post story. Context: "Perhaps less pejoratively, let’s tweak that word and call “The Road We’ve Traveled” what it mostly is: docu-ganda."

    March 16, 2012

  • Encountered in this article, referring to the food of chain restaurants. The implication is that such food is conservative and insipid and does not challenge the eater's tastes. Derived from lowest common denominator and omnomnom.

    February 2, 2012

  • Echoical of eating, especially of eating with enthusiasm.

    February 2, 2012

  • AKA has been supplanting "i.e." in informal writing for some time, but has also been attested in more professional writing, like this clip from the Scientific American blog:

    "There's also the simple fact that one can drill to release a transportable commodity worth roughly $100 per barrel (aka oil) or one can drill to produce a commodity that must be instantaneously transported and consumed at a value of roughly 10 cents per kilowatt-hour (aka geothermal electricity)."

    June 21, 2011

  • Presumably a portmanteau of thrive and survivalist. Quite well attested.

    "Plenty of peak oil doomers, preppers, and thrivalist types have blogged about their shelf full of reference books for Camp Teotwawki, including me."

    "A thrivalist — a person who not just survives but thrives — says that every risk is an opportunity."

    It looks like there are at least two senses: a (perhaps) older one meaning "one who thrives in the face of any adversity", and a more specific one meaning "one who expects society at large to fail and collapse, but who plans to be personally so well prepared that they instead thrive."

    May 8, 2011

  • "While it's true that last week parents were told that Andrew Wakefield's 1998 paper was fraudulent, what we're dealing with is not a "debate." It's a pseudodebate. It's a manufactroversy. The actual scientific debate over whether vaccines cause autism was over years ago."


    January 12, 2011

  • I've seen this form used as an intransitive verb meaning "to engage in archery; to shoot a bow", as a backformation from "archery".

    October 27, 2010

  • "tweak-ovation" appeared in a NYT article, apparently meaning "the process of making small innovations or improvements":

    "'While the U.S. is known for radical innovation, China is better at tweak-ovation.' said Liu."

    September 20, 2010

  • This word was used in the abstract of this academic paper:

    "Here I lay out the issues and argue for a language socialization paradigm for SLA that is consistent with and embracive of the new research."

    August 30, 2010

  • Senses of "to wear or carry on one's person; to sport; to tote", with probable connection to rock and roll:

    It's available now for all Android phones using v1.6 or newer, and if you're rocking a BlackBerry, you can expect the Place Page to head your way soon.

    I’m going to be rocking a fedora which I’ve had for years, it’s awesome. I also have a sparkly fedora which I totally love and like to rock at oodd times or at the club :D.

    Love all your picks! I’ll definitely be rocking the straw hats and floppies this summer…as for the cowboy, not a fan!

    July 29, 2010

  • "Freemium" is a portmanteau of free ("provided without payment") and premium ("high quality" or "an extra bonus"). It is used as an adjective.

    A service described as "freemium" or as having a "freemium business model" provides its most basic services for free, but entices customers to upgrade to a paid subscription. Customers usually receive special benefits with their paid subscription that somehow enhance the "basic" service they previously received.

    This may be described as a sort of mild bait-and-switch: the service provider reels in the customer with the free service, but then attempts to convert that free customer into a paying customer by selling them on further services.

    Internet games often employ a "freemium" business model. Players may make an account and play for free, but they may receive in-game bonuses (money, powers, equipment, etc) in exchange for real-world currency.

    In persistent multiplayer games such as Dead Awaken, players who pay for in-game money and equipment enjoy a substantial competitive advantage over non-paying players. In single-player games, a player who pays for extra in-game content is not buying a competitive advantage, but may simply wish to have more in-game money and power to enjoy during play time.

    One game often described as freemium in this sense is Zynga's FarmVille:

    Another sense of "freemium" is in the case of a community offering certain intangible benefits to members who donate money to keep the community as a whole afloat. Social news website Reddit recently appealed to its users for voluntary donations of any amount. Those who donated received public recognition in the form of a "trophy" on their user page, as well as a promise of possible unspecified benefits in the future. Some commentators described this as being a type of "freemium" service:

    July 14, 2010

  • This is an onomatopoeia for laughter. Its origin is the Korean onomatopoeia ㅋㅋㅋ, in which the jamo ㅋ stands for an aspirated "k" sound, like in raspy, half-stifled laughter. (I'm not sure why it wound up transliterated as "kekeke" rather than just "kkk", though.)

    The story generally told is that it was introduced into the English language through the language contact between South Koreans and Americans over the real-time strategy computer game Starcraft. Speaking as someone who played the game around 1999-2001, it was used as a marker for lightly-mocking laughter as one overpowered one's opponent. The classic case would be its usage during a "zergling rush," which is one player very quickly building up a small army of extremely weak units called Zerglings and using that small army to destroy the opponent's fledgling base- a lightning-fast and humiliating defeat.

    Due to the ephemeral nature of in-game chatting and the likely delay before the in-game catchphrase became more widely adopted in other spheres, however, it's anyone's guess as to who first coined the transliteration "kekeke," or when it first began to gain traction in the speech of gamers.

    Incidentally, the same onomatopoeia- with the same meaning- also exists in Japanese, written as けけけ.

    May 24, 2010

  • Here's another usage:

    April 17, 2010

  • Out in the wild, this word is being used to mean a scratch or shallow trough (on any surface), or else the material removed to create such a depression. I looked it up today because "divot" was the word that popped into my mind to describe a depressed feature on a vertical column, and I realized I had no idea what the literal definition of the word was.

    Example usages I googled up:

    "I came home and read some Alain Badiou, sinking into the divot I'd worked into the couch."

    "The catalyst that created this working forum of service leaders is a challenge we define as the 'sales divot.'"

    "Last night I noticed there is a divot in the enamel in my front tooth."

    April 17, 2010

  • As near as I can tell from the context in which it was used, someone is said to be "acquhired" if they are kept on as employees after their company has been acquired by another company. It appears to be a portmanteau of acquire and hire. I first saw it used in "Google's Acquhire Binge" in this context: "So now those founders are returning to the nest — to work on similar projects, with generous re-signing bonuses in their pockets. These are multimillion-dollar acquhires."

    February 22, 2010