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July 14, 2015  |  More word discoveries  |  6262 hit(s)

Here's another list of words that I recently discovered. (Not necessarily new, except to me.) Apparently this is becoming a regular thing.

Matthew effect. This is also known as status bias—the idea that people get advantages due to their status. The term comes from the verse in Matthew 25:29, which tells us that "For whoever has will be given more […]". I ran across the term in a fascinating post on the Umpire Bible web site, where the author was discussing how in baseball, the reputation of a pitcher or batter can affect how umpires judge balls and strikes.

kuleana. A Hawaiian word meaning a right or responsibility. One of my coworkers grew up in Hawaii and dropped this word during a meeting, after which he had to send us a link to a definition. Here's a more in-depth explanation.

shadow work. This term was used by Craig Lambert to mean work (or "work") that might once have been done by a business but is now done by customers or patrons. As he defines the term, it's …

[…] all the unpaid jobs we do on behalf of businesses and organizations: We are pumping our own gas, scanning our own groceries, booking our travel and busing our tables at Starbucks.

testocracy. As I encountered this term, it was used to refer to the system of granting access to higher-educational benefits on the basis of test scores (like the SAT). I found it in a book review in the New York Times, but it was invented at least far back as 1983, and possibly re-invented multiple times since then. (As more than one person has pointed out, it kind of sounds like an –ocracy of testosterone.)

ragescroll. As Paul McFedries defines it, "To scroll angrily, particularly to the bottom of a page or message for further actions (such as unsubscribing or contacting customer service)." This term seems to have been popularized by a tweet from Peter Kretzman, which is where I first saw it.

spellism. This is a term invented by the editor Katharine O'Moore-Klopf to mean "looking down on people who have difficulty spelling correctly." Compare sexism, agism.

PS I was going to title this post "More recent words," as in more words I've seen recently, but there didn't seem to be a way to punctuate the phrase definitively to avoid an interpretation of "words that are more recent." "More, recent words" doesn't work, I think.