Funktionary - a Pre-Dictionary

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Funktionary - a Pre-Dictionary

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sun Feb 19, 2006 7:52 am

.. ran across a great book in the bookstore last Saturday .. FUNKtionary: A cheeky collection of contemporary words is a new type of dictionary, a Pre-dictionary that has been written by Ruth Wajnryb ..
For the gazillions of readers who just adore new words and phrases, here is a collection of all the latest buzzwords. "Funktionary" is the end product of grit, wit and lexpionage - a wacky collection of words that will fill you with awe at the flexibility and liveliness of the English language. As a pre-dictionary, "Funktionary" is different from regular dictionaries. A pre-dictionary is a proactive repository that finds, collects, and predicts entries for the dictionaries of tomorrow. In these pages, readers will encounter some 2,500 pre-dictionary words. Some will live on in print, some will make it into the language under their own steam, and some will simply fade away. Either way, it doesn't matter. Such arrivals and departures are inherent in the ebb and flow of language.
.. Dale this seems right up your alley and perhaps a book you could buy to check your own growing list of neologisms .. if you are wondering who this lady is then ..
Ruth Wajnryb is a linguist, author and columnist, with a particular interest in how language brokers human relations. She is also interested in lexicography, and the ways in which neologisms reveal social and cultural trends. Ruth has published extensively on language, culture and history and is well known as the weekly Words Columnist of The Sydney Morning Herald ( She is a consultant to Collins Dictionaries.
.. BTW I noticed that Amazon says the book isn't published yet but it is Downunder as I have held it in my hand and had a quick browse and a good laugh at many of the words ..

.. but the word pre-dictionary has been a round since 2003 when Mikhail Epstein, a professor of Cultural Theory and Russian Literature at Emory University, described how a pre-dictionary would work ..
PreDictionary n (pre, from Lat. prae, before + dictionary; or: predict + suffixes -ion and -ary) - a projective dictionary that does not register words already in use but "predicts" new words and introduces them for the first time.

Almost all dictionaries, even those that contain neologisms, are reactive: they reflect various foregone stages in the development of language. A PreDictionary, on the contrary, is a proactive dictionary: it contributes new words that may make their way into the dictionaries of the future.
Source: from Word Spy
.. hmmmm I have just realised something ..

.. the original word coined by Epstein is predictionary and is founded on the basis of predicting words that may make it into "real" dictionaries .. but when Wajnryb wrote the word she added a hyphen and used pre-dictionary which puts the focus on the prefix /pre-/ meaning before in time, place or rank .. to me that had the connotation that the words she collected were at a stage before making it to a "real" dictionary .. a slight difference in accent which to me have two different approaches .. I did notice that Epstein mentioned the prefix /pre-/ in his etymology ..

.. incidently neither of the words, pre-dictionary, predictionary, register at Onelook ..

WoZ of Aus 19/02/06
Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Funktionary - a Pre-Dictionary

Post by dalehileman » Thu Feb 23, 2006 6:19 pm

Out of sympathy for the recent neglect of Woz' topics, I herewith bubble up one of the very latest

Woz thank you most kindly for this tip, and I will most certainly add it to my shopping list. But if it's no trouble, could you please advise (1) if it distinguishes words principally leftpond, and (2) if it specifies approximate date first used

Funktionary - a Pre-Dictionary

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:16 am

.. dale, sorry it doesn't go into that kind of detail .. for instance these are some of the kind of entries you will find >>
Abdocate (v) – to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach

Accelervator (n) – a person who mistakenly believes that the lift call button will respond faster if it’s pushed frequently and in a frenzied manner

Al desko (adv) – a style of lunch where you eat at your desk, usually under the boss’s orders or pressure of work

Arsemosis (n) – the process by which some people win promotions by sucking up to the boss rather than working hard

Baked potato (n) – a couch potato who, as well as pigging out on junk food, is stoned

Blinksync (n) – the likelihood that in any group photo, one person will have their eyes shut

Boomeranger (n) – the adult child of Baby-Boomer parents who returns home to live

Chick-chat (n) – girl talk

Digerati (n) – the new literate – those with electronic or digital literacy

Disorient express (n) – a state of utter confusion

Dotsnot (n) – a young, arrogant, rich person whose sudden wealth comes from a dotcom investment

Earworm (n) – a song that you can’t get out of your head

Ego surfing (n) – searching the net for any mention of your name

Fur kid (n) – a pet that fills the role of a substitute child

Jiterati (n) – those who have grown up in the digital revolution and who feel anxious if they don’t know the latest jargon and buzz word

Kitchen pass (n) – permission granted to a person, usually a man, by his partner, usually his wife, to go out for the evening

Mouse potato (n) – a kind of couch potato, except the time spent is in front of a computer screen rather than a TV

Para singles (n) – 20 and 30-something who earns a salary but still live with their parents, without contributing to the cost of running the home

Poddict (n) – an avid iPod user

Reality fatigue (n) – being really sick of reality television

Salad dodgers (n) – a pejorative term for overweight people

Spinach book (n) – a book you know is good for you but that you don’t expect to enjoy

Vigil auntie (n) – a family member who is particularly nosey

YOYO (n) – acronym for “you’re on your own”

Yurp (n) – it started as a yawn, but somewhere in the middle, a burp slipped out
.. maybe you could think of it as a kind of stream of consciousness, a thinktank, a brainstrom .. a collection of maybe words .. your job ?? .. go out and find if and where they exist .. oh dear mate .. that does mean work ..

WoZ of Aus 25/02/06
Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Funktionary - a Pre-Dictionary

Post by dalehileman » Sat Feb 25, 2006 6:48 pm

Woz thank you for that, I'll put it on my list of Christmas wishes

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