Diffability or handicapable are new to me. Diffability is defined by Word-Spy as, "A disability, especially one that causes or encourages the person to develop different or special abilities." The earliest citation for diffability that Word-Spy could identify is from Tim Shriver, Chairman of the Special Olympics, in 1997. Diffability is a great example of how words can indicate a changing society. Almost no one that I know uses the terms crippled or retarded, which have morphed into handicapped, and have now evolved into disabled or challenged. Now, it seems, that the correct appellation is "diffabled." Okay by me. I have witnessed this evolution with many words. Here's a handy chart:
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch a nigger by the toe.
If he hollers, let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.
Later on the word "nigger" was replaced with tiger. I recall my grandmother telling me that there was an audible gasp in the theaters when Rhett Butler delivered the now famous quote from the 1929 film Gone With the Wind, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!" Shocking!--for the time a swear word in the movies. The point is, that language is ever-evolving. This is not necessarily bad, but it is always interesting, and the words diffabled and handicapable are two fascinating examples of language in motion.
A quenelle salute (or gesture) is recognized when one arm is directed downwards diagonally with the other hand touching its opposite shoulder. (See pic below). It is often considered an anti-establishment, scatalogical, or an anti-semitic inverted Nazi salute. The term quenelle comes from a disgusting-looking creamed fish or meat dish. There are lots of interesting salutes in the world. Below are pictures of a few.
Newsvertising is a word that I made up. Who knows if it will catch on. I define it as a news release which is really just a clever advertisement. Examples of newsvertising? Here are several:1)Contests by the Mars Candy Company to either name a replacement color or name a new color of M&Ms candy. 2)What seems like an annual release of the McDonald's McRib sandwich. 3) Amazon announcing on the news show "60 Minutes" the planned development of delivery drones, conveniently announced just prior to the height of the Christmas shopping season. 4) A very recent favorite, Kraft Foods announcing a "supposed" shortage of Velveeta "alleged" cheese. I write "supposed" because I wonder if this shortage isn't entirely contrived, and "alleged" because I think Velveeta is to cheese what cardboard is to a tree. All of these are examples of what I dub newsvertising. I really can't blame these companies, this is an absolute gold mine of free advertising, but I really wish the media would display at least a modicum of integrity (not likely, I know) and just let these obvious manipulative machinations just die before they become memes.
Raccoonitude. I overheard this word at a local Burning Man event CriticaLand (see below). I can't remember the exact definition bestowed by its utterer, so I'll just make one up. Raccoons are really cute, but very devious. Raccoonitude is the attitude of trying to get away with something, and when caught, being so charming that you feel like you should be entitled to your peccadillo, and thus, you might just get away with it. Below is a video by the "Undisputed Truth." The song is called Smiling Faces Sometimes," a perfect description of raccoonitude.
"The Urban Dictionary comes to the rescue,'… inferior quality; held in low social regard; old and dilapidated; …used to describe a person, place or thing which is questionable, fucked up, wrong, strange, broken down, undesirable, and/or just something you can’t think of another word for… a conjunction of ‘junky’ and‘skanky’.' Well, okay then, I think I get it now. Sounds like an Appalachian Paradise. But here is my fave definition: “Poorly constructed or put together, and does not seem like it should function at all, although it may perform beyond expectations.”
Evangedouche is a great word that I first saw in a Jezebel Blog posting by Lindy West. The entry is entitled "Worst Guy Ever Alert: Beware of Horrible Hipster Pastor Mark Driscoll" who is described as a "preening alpha evangedouche." Ah, music to my ears. I have a particular interest in this evangedouche (I just love typing that word.) because this guy is the head of the Mars Hill Megachurch, which has a satellite right in my neighborhood of West Seattle. Readers of this blog know that I have some respect for the power of religion as a positive force, but there are some religious celebrities (e.g. Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, John Hagee) that are so extreme, so obviously idiotic, that I am reduced to name-calling, and evangedouche is as good an insult as any, and better than most. So, what is it that makes Driscoll a premier evangedouche? (I'm going to type that word as many times as context allows.) A couple examples: Driscoll believes that yoga is "demonic," and the wonderful film "Avatar" "the most Demonic, Satanic. film I've ever seen," Gimme a break. I could go on for many paragraphs about what a jerk that Driscoll is, but I recommend you read Jezebel's blog entry instead. If you want further reading about this evangedouche, I recommend this link about his views on "Avatar." How anyone, particularly women, can become part of his "flock" is a mystery to me. Below is a couple videos, the first is Driscoll the other is another notorious evangedouche John Hagee. Enjoy.
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So, this completes my semantic journey through the American lexicon. It's been fun for me to collect these words. I can't close without mention of the greatest wordsmith of them all: William Shakespeare. Thanks Bill, you were the greatest. Check out his handy Shakespearean insult generator. I'm sure that Shakespeare would have heartily approved of evangedouche, or I'll be a "paunchy reeling-ripe moldwarp!"