Wednesday Words: Babymoon, Self-Interrupt and More

NewsFeed's weekly highlight of our vocabulary. Humans say the darnedest things.

  • Share
  • Read Later
David McGlynn

babymoon (n.): a vacation taken by expectant parents, esp. to savor the last days of life before children.

Among speculation about Kate Middleton’s pregnancy is the question of whether the royal couple will go on a babymoon. The hoi polloi would love the prospect, no doubt. But one might argue that that if “Earl” or “Countess” could precede your child’s name, you probably don’t need a self-pampering holiday.

computational news media (n.): current events websites that aggregate and personalize news with algorithms.

These are sites like Google News, where the stories on home page are determined by automated procedures rather than human editors. In a piece for the Nieman Journalism Lab, Nick Diakopoulos explains that computational news media have biases just like people do. “Even robots have biases,” he says — a good tidbit to keep in mind for the inevitable robot uprising.

self-interrupt (v.): to interrupt one’s own work to check social media or perform some other non-work-related task.

This definition for this widespread phenomenon comes from neologism site Word Spy. It’s a term that embodies the zeitgeist of 2012, an age marked by short attention spans and chronic obsessions with how many people ♥ed our Instagram photos.

apocaholic (n.): a person who habitually assumes that disaster is imminent.

Intel Corp.’s chief futurist, the man whose job is to predict how people will use electronic products in years to come, recently used this term in an interview with Maclean’s. “There’s been some research recently that human beings seem to be ‘apocaholics’—always seeing something right around the corner that’s going to kill us all,” Brian David Johnson said. “That reaction blocks us from coming up with the really great ideas, so I’m on a crusade against fear.” Let it never be said that microchip geeks lack for bravery.

blingiest (adj.): surpassing all others in the volume or quality of bling.

Bling, as we all know by now, is a catchall for expensive, ostentatious clothing and jewelry. We don’t often utilize the fun superlative versions of our favorite slang words, but the Financial Times’ Jonathan Guthrie managed to work this one into a column about the United Kingdom’s Chancellor of the Exchequer. “Giving back to his homies, the chancellor splashed out with tax cuts like P Diddy dispensing Dom Pérignon to a thirsty entourage,” Guthrie wrote. “The blingiest giveaway was cutting corporation tax by 1 percentage point to 21 per cent in 2014.” Yes, the result is awkward and likely caused a lot of eye-rolling across the pond, but we applaud the effort.