BY BOB HOLT
The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary has updated its list of words, and associate editor Kory Stamper wants the new ones to become like earworms to people who use her book.
Actually, 'earworms' refer more to pieces of music you can’t get out of your head. Or to a pest you’ll find in ears of corn.
The musical meaning began appearing in the 1990s, but writer Stephen King described earworms as "songs that burrow into your head and commence chewing on your brains" in a 2009 article on ew.com. He was referring to examples like 'Coconut,'' by Harry Nilsson,''Who Let the Dogs Out,'' by Baha Men, and ''Mambo No. 5,'' by Lou Bega. Sorry.
The popular term "f-bomb" has finally been included among the dictionary’s new words. The f-bomb gained popularity in the 1990s, but not all that shockingly, the word may have been perfected in the United States Senate.
An “aha moment” is another addition, and has been somewhat popularized by Oprah Winfrey. “Systemic risk” and another definition for “underwater” are contemporary references to sinking property values.
The Daily Beast defines man cave as a room or space designed to be used as a man’s personal area for hobbies and leisure activities. The term dates back to 1992. Sexting, transmitting sexually explicit messages or images by cellphone, first appeared in 2007, but Congressman Anthony Weiner may have perfected it in 2011.
An Associated Press report defines cloud computing as storing regularly used computer data on multiple servers that can be accessed by Internet. Energy drink, e-reader, and bucket list have also been included.
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary receives a complete overhaul about every 10 years and is updated yearly. A defining word of the year is chosen around Thanksgiving.