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Words at Play

What Exactly Is This "Nonversation" All About?

Top 10 User-Submitted Words, Vol. 5


Definition:

(noun) : conversation that seems meaningless or without logic

Example:

"There's a 45-minute wait at the bus office until our coach leaves. Billy disappears to buy water and I strike up a nonversation (smile, nod, hello, Ingalis) with a Kurdish man with a scar on his cheek, who gestures for me to play the guitar." - blog post at UnPlaned.com, March 20, 2010

Definition:

(adjective) : having or showing an excessively high opinion of oneself because of one's conservationist ecological practices

Example:

"Pret a Manger is never done with telling you how worthy it is. … [It] ecotistically plasters its greener-than-thou credentials all over its walls, napkins and the packaging of everything it sells." - Brendan O'Neill, The Guardian, April 4, 2007

Submitted by:

Big Papa G, AR

Definition:

(noun) : activism using information obtained illegally from computers or electronic networks

Example:

"With respect to hacktivism and cyberterrorism, those who engage in such activity are less likely to accomplish their foreign policy objectives than those who do not employ disruptive and destructive techniques." - Dorothy E. Denning, "Activism, Hacktivism, and Cyberterrorism: The Internet as a Tool for Influencing Foreign Policy," on the Information Warfare Site, 1999

Submitted by:

Sue G., CO

Definition:

(noun) a precise point in time in which one has sudden understanding of or insight into something

Example:

... [S]he had that "aha moment" in the summer of 2009 when an old photo of her slimmer self made her decide it was time she took charge of her weight. - Susan Pierce, Times Free Press, September 9, 2010

Definition:

(noun) : someone who visits Mackinac Island, Michigan, or another tourist destination, and buys homemade fudge there

Example:

"What's a fudgie? You are, if you've ever walked out of a shop with a white box, a plastic knife and a sweet tooth champing at the bit. You're an outsider, a profit center. A tourist. Whatever its origins or however cute it sounds, the term is not particularly complimentary." - Andy Badeker, Chicago Tribune, July 9, 1997

Submitted by:

chatterboxweb, MI

Photo: marada / flickr

Definition:

(noun) : a person known to another through online communication only (as via email or Internet social networking)

Example:

"... Peter Watts, brilliant Canadian hard SF writer, marine biology PhD, good e-cquaintance of mine, and by all accounts all round nice guy in the flesh ..." - blog post at [Richardkmorgan.com](http://www.richardkmorgan.com/blog/page/3/ Dec 12 2009), December 12, 2009

Submitted by:

Curtis, OH

Definition:

(verb) : to drive someone insane by making them doubt their perceptions or memories

Example:

"I had a couple of coworkers attempt to gaslight me once. They swore up and down that I was at a particular meeting. The meeting never happened. However, the attempted gaslighting did motivate me to find another job." - comment by Mariposa on the Laurie Kendrick blog, July 5, 2008

Editor's Note:

The term comes from "Gaslight," a 1944 movie in which a husband tries to drive his wife crazy by changing minor details in their house - including the brightness of the gas lights - and then insisting they've always been that way.

Submitted by:

Chris L., IA

Definition:

(noun) : the popularity of something (such as a story or Web page) that is spread quickly and usually by direct recommendations rather than advertisements or news media

Example:

"... we also know that you can't manufacture true virality on the net, and if you need any convincing there's a great PCWorld article ... highlighting some embarrassing corporate attempts at this." - blog post at elance.com, November 2, 2010

Submitted by:

Ravi G., CA

Definition:

(adjective) : relating to rainy weather that causes melancholy; relating to weather that is cloudy and raining slightly

Example:

"It is one of those drizzmal days you both dread and look forward to—womb-like and tomb-like at the same time." - blog post at fragmentsfromfloyd.com, November 30, 2008

Submitted by:

Doreen J., FL; Deorah H., PA

Cyberchondriac

Definition:

(noun) : one who imagines physical ailments after reading about them on the Internet

Example:

"Lee Gardon, 47, is a recovering cyberchondriac. Despite his doctor's repeated insistence that he was in good health, Gardon could not believe it." - ABCNews.com, May 19, 2007




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