Archive for Specific Words

Sensory metaphors

In a New York Times piece from 2015, Jonah Berger wrote about the longevity of sensory metaphors. An interesting piece, and an interesting idea. Fits nicely with stuff I’ve been reading about metaphors in Lakoff and Johnson’s Metaphors We Live By. I find the piece a little incomplete in its discussion of the word cool, […]

xenomorph

An Ars Technica article from 2014 explains that the word “xenomorph” in Aliens is a generic term and not a specific name for that specific species. Commenters point out that the exhaustively argued conclusion that the article comes to is exactly what they had assumed to be true from watching the movie. Nonetheless, I admire […]

Cthulhu-13

I’m disappointed to find that “Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn” doesn’t turn into anything interesting when rot-13ed. (It becomes “Cu'atyhv ztyj'ansu Pguhyuh E'ylru jtnu'anty sugnta.” (Perhaps I’ll try to turn Pguhyuh into a catchphrase, the way alt.folklore.urban turned furrfu into a catchphrase.)

happy-making

I just encountered an authorial note by Robert A. Heinlein, possibly written around 1980, that used the word happy-making. I think I only started to see that word used in the last twenty years or so, so I got curious about when it come into use. My dictionary was silent on the matter, but Google […]