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Word Spy: Web site is devoted to lexpionage

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  • Jill Littlewood
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 10, 2004
      > This site is great (but habit-forming).
      > Welcome to Word Spy! This Web site is devoted to
      > lexpionage, the sleuthing of new words and phrases.
      > These aren't "stunt words" or "sniglets," but new
      > terms that have appeared multiple times in newspapers,
      > magazines, books, Web sites, and other recorded
      > sources.
      > http://www.wordspy.com/
      > Sample Entries
      > latte factor (LAT.ay fak.tur) n. Seemingly
      > insignificant daily purchases that add up to a
      > significant amount of money over time.
      > Example Citation:
      > The advisor also suggested that they carefully watch
      > their spending on little things - such as buying a cup
      > of coffee every day.
      > "You get a mocha at Starbucks and it costs $3. You buy
      > a biscuit for $1.50. At work, you get a diet Coke and
      > Snickers. Before you know it, you've spent $10 a day,"
      > Holt said. "It's thelatte factor."
      > -Deborah Adamson, "Money makeover," The Honolulu
      > Advertiser, October 19, 2003
      > tunnel advertising n. An advertisement consisting of a
      > series of illuminated screens in a subway tunnel, each
      > projecting one image from a sequence to create an
      > animation effect as the train goes by.
      > Example Citation:
      > Tunnel advertising, which is being tested on the MARTA
      > system in Atlanta, the New York-New Jersey PATH trains
      > and subways in Athens and Seoul, would bring in about
      > $400,000 annually and would take about eight months to
      > introduce. The ads are a modern-day version of the
      > famed Burma Shave signs of the 1930s to 1950s. BART
      > riders would see the ads through the train window,
      > watching a series of pictures mounted on the tunnel
      > wall turn into a moving advertisement - sort of like a
      > children's picture flip-book.
      > -Michael Cabanatuan, "BART seeking creative new ways
      > to raise ad revenue," The San Francisco Chronicle,
      > February 28, 2003
      > ghost sign n. The remnant of a vintage advertisement
      > painted on the side of a building.
      > Example Citation:
      > The early billboards could be found on barns and brick
      > walls, in popular alleyways and warehouses across the
      > country from about the 1890s until the television age.
      > . . . As time marched on, old buildings were torn down
      > or the old signs were painted over. Yet a few remain,
      > their lead lettering often serving as the sole
      > reminder of the product or service they sold. Some are
      > visible only after a rain, prompting the nickname
      > "ghost signs."
      > -Kaitlin Gurney, "Sign, sealed, delivered," The News
      > and Observer (Raleigh, NC), October 1, 1999
      > pareidolia (payr.eye.DOH.lee.uh) n. The erroneous or
      > fanciful perception of a pattern or meaning in
      > something that is actually ambiguous or random.
      > -pareidolic adj.
      > Example Citation:
      > Pareidolia is common enough, and predates the space
      > program by a millennium or two. We've all seen the Man
      > in the Moon, or faces and images of ships and
      > elephants in cloud formations. ...
      > In 1978, some 8,000 people made pilgrimages to the
      > home of a New Mexico woman who discovered a picture of
      > Jesus in a burned tortilla. And in 2001, thousands saw
      > the face of Satan captured in a CNN video and
      > Associated Press photos of smoke billowing from the
      > World Trade Center. (For a great collection these and
      > more example of pareidolia,
      > visithttp://thefolklorist.com).
      > -Mike Himowitz, "Space photo contents often are all in
      > eye of the beholder," The Baltimore Sun, February 12,
      > 2004
      > Notes:
      > This word is a blend of the prefix para-, meaning, in
      > this context, something faulty or wrong (for example,
      > paraphasia, disordered speech) and eidolon (1828), a
      > ghostly image or phantom.
      > nag factor (NAG fak.tur) n. The degree to which
      > parents' purchasing decisions are based on being
      > nagged by their children.
      > Example Citation:
      > 'Marketing and advertising to children has become a
      > specialty unto itself,' agrees David Walsh, a
      > psychologist and president of the National Institute
      > on Media and the Family, a nonprofit group based in
      > Minneapolis.
      > Trade conventions are held across the country to
      > develop strategies to entice children to certain
      > products and then get them to cajole their parents
      > into buying the products. Those in the industry call
      > it the 'nag factor' or 'pester power.'
      > __________________________________
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