2001. What went on that year?
Well, I was born. The Ravens won their first Super Bowl ever. Terrorists attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001. Those are a few important things, in my opinion (of course, September 11 is the most notable and sobering).
However, other than those events, several words were added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
Let’s set the record straight: it was the year the words ack, auto-suggest, blade server, bromance, cankle, captcha, chiweenie, click fraud, cornhole, eastern rat snake, goliath grouper, human metapneumovirus, Internet of Things, metapneumovirus, microRNA, miRNA, misophonia, PED (performance enhancing drug), talalafil, temporal thermometer, tenne, and twerking all *officially* came into existence. (You can find this list here on Merriam-Webster’s website.)
Why do I mention all these? One of the writing assignments that caught my eye in the ds106 Assignment bank was “Never Fear—it’s the words of the year”. Here’s the description:
Merriam-Webster keeps a year-by-year list of when words were first recorded, or first recorded as being used in a particular sense. Each year gives us a list of somewhat random unusual and mundane words. Your challenge: Take the list from some significant year, such as the year of your birth, and build a poem from the words on the list. You don’t need to be limited to just the list, unless you choose to do so. Any kind of poem will do – just make it meaningful.Stars: 2
Assignment inspired by the ever-inspirational Amy Burvall
I wouldn’t call myself a poet, and in general poetry isn’t my thing. Regardless, here goes my attempt:
Words of 2001
2001 is now 20 years old. How old does that make you feel? There are a few words that have been around just as long—now let me present them to you:
Don’t worry, COVID; human metapneumovirus (or even just metapneumovirus?) hasn’t risen to your level. You’ve made us all thankful for the temporal thermometer. In addition, another couple of scientific terms have made their way in: microRNA and miRNA!
We’ve got a whole list of digital words and phrases: captcha, click fraud, Internet of Things, blade server, and even—wait for it—auto-suggest!
Unfortunately, a few words with rather unpleasant, inappropriate, or odd meanings just had to join the party: PED (performance enhancing drug), twerking, and talalafil are the ones that pop up first.
Naturally, there are a few seemingly random additions: tenne, cankle, cornhole, and ack. The last couple are quite surprising to me; I would’ve thought they had been officially ushered in years before.
We can’t forget the legendary bromance, of course. That surprised me as well, because all this time I’ve assumed it was a word coined within the last ten years, nowhere close to 20!
A few animals also happened to sneak into this list: the eastern rat snake, the goliath grouper, and (most adorably!) the Chiweenie. Although it sounds like “Chewbacca,” it’s in fact a dachshund/chihuahua mix.
And please, it’s already 20 years after misophonia was officially considered a real word—can we please be more considerate of those with the condition?
Even with all these words, I’m still waiting for one to make it into the dictionary…orbisculate.
I didn’t write the poem in rhyme, but I did want to give it a kind of rhythm or cadence.
Another thing that I wanted to add in as soon as I started writing was the word “orbisculate”. If you don’t know what that means, you’re seriously missing out. This is the definition: “to accidentally squirt juice and/or pulp into one’s eye, as from a grapefruit when using a spoon to scoop out a section for eating.”
I’ve become a bit obsessed with this weird word, and it’s not in the dictionary yet, as I mentioned in the last sentence of my poem. You can read more about it on this website! The creators of the word “orbisculate” are trying to get it into the dictionary, so spread the word!
Like I said towards the beginning of the post, I’m not a poet. However, I do have an affinity for words, which I consider to be part of who I am.