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Words at Play

What Kind of Style is "Retrosexual"?

Top 10 User-Submitted Words, Vol. 3


Definition:

a man who adopts a traditional masculine style in dress and manners

Example:

"Think of him as the anti-metrosexual, the opposite of that guy who emerged in the 1990s in all his pedicured, moussed-up, skinny-jeans glory. That man-boy was searching for his inner girl, it was argued. The retrosexual, however, wants to put the man back into manhood." -Lini S. Kadaba, Philadelphia Inquirer, Apr. 7, 2010

Submitted by:

West4th, NY

Editor's Note:

Retrosexual is a word that has been used in two very different ways.

It sometimes describes an old-fashioned "manly man" - e.g. a beer and football-loving guy who cares little for his appearance.

But it has also been used, as in the example above, to describe someone who self-consciously adopts traditional masculine styles - e.g. old-fashioned manners and clothes typical of the early 1960s (think Mad Men).

Definition:

(abbreviation): trap-neuter-return, or trap-neuter-release

Example:

"The goal of TNR is to reduce cat populations by humanely trapping them, spaying or neutering them and returning them to the area where they were caught." -Amy Worden, Philly Dawg Blog, Sept. 16, 2009

Submitted by:

K.A. Hoffa, PA

Definition:

a person who watches another person do something (such as use a computer or ATM, or fill out a form) in order to obtain private information

Example:

"Brightly lit, responsive screens are certainly pleasing to use, but they also make it easier for 'shoulder surfers' to spy your secret pass codes." -Duncan Graham-Rowe, New Scientist, Jan. 14, 2010

Submitted by:

J.C. Moore, PA

Definition:

stepparent

Example:

"Not long ago, you rarely heard the word 'step-parent' without hearing the word 'wicked' in front of it. Or with the word 'monster' in front of it. These just sound wrong to us. So, when we heard Oprah refer to a step-parent as a 'bonus' parent, it just felt right." -Rachel Sarah, singlemommyhood.com blog, July 20, 2009

Submitted by:

Susan Neeb, MI

Definition:

fake antivirus software that people are tricked into buying in various Internet scams

Example:

"According to a recent Google study, 60 percent of malicious sites that embed hot keywords try to distribute scareware to the computers of visitors." -Riva Richmond, The New York Times, May 19, 2010

Definition:

a floating hotel esp. a hotel located on a ship or a barge

Example:

"The flotel could be moved if significant amounts of oil wash up at another location. Another flotel sits about 15 miles away, off Grand Isle, and BP plans to establish them elsewhere along the coast." -Ben Nuckols, The Associated Press, June 1, 2010

Submitted by:

K.A. Hoffa, PA

Definition:

to send a text message with sexual content

Example:

"Did you see 'The Tyra Banks Show' on Friday? The episode was all about teen sexting, and the few snippets I've been able to find are enough to make many parents cringe." -Stacey Garfinkle, WashingtonPost.com, Mar. 23, 2009

Definition:

showing a complete range of typical or possible elements : comprehensive

Examples:

"Some of the soldiers assigned to posts near the Pakistan border, Dubie said, are engaged in what he called 'traditional full-spectrum combat operations.'" -Peter Hirschfeld, Vermont Press Bureau, Apr. 7, 2010

"Santorum is a full spectrum conservative with all the abilities that Mike Huckabee had in 2008." -Craig Robinson, TheIowaRepublican.com, Mar. 10, 2010

Submitted by:

T2, GA

Editor's Note:

As illustrated in the examples above, this term seems to have multiple meanings. These senses of full spectrum have probably evolved from the phrase full spectrum dominance that appeared in "Joint Vision 2020," a United States Department of Defense document released on May 30, 2000:

"The ultimate goal of our military force is to accomplish the objectives directed by the National Command Authorities. For the joint force of the future, this goal will be achieved through full spectrum dominance - the ability of US forces, operating unilaterally or in combination with multinational and interagency partners, to defeat any adversary and control any situation across the full range of military operations."

Definition:

a process used in filmmaking to generate preliminary versions of shots or sequences predominantly using 3-D animation tools and a virtual environment

Example:

"The process, called 'previsualization,' or previz, is storyboarding taken to the next level: digital storyboarding with a certain degree of interactivity." -Debra Kaufman, hollywoodreporter.com, Oct. 11, 2005

Submitted by:

The Previsualization Society, CA

Botnet

Definition:

a network of computers infected with a virus that conducts coordinated scanning activity to compromise the security of and infect other computers

Example:

"Botnets - large networks of malware-infected PCs remotely controlled by criminals - are a serious problem on the Internet. The spam, phishing attacks, and malware that these networks send accounts for a massive proportion, in excess of 80 percent, of e-mail traffic." -Wired.com, Feb. 26, 2010

Submitted by:

J.C. Moore, PA

Editor's Note:

One of the disturbing aspects of botnets: if your computer is infected, you may not be aware that it's serving as a botnet agent.

(To submit your own word or browse more words like these, visit our Open Dictionary.)




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