News of the Week: New Words, Vanishing Accents, and Suddenly It’s Chili Weather

In the news for the week ending October 13, 2023, are new words, a new finale, an old egg, and a new old Turn-On.

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What are words for? When no one listens, it’s no use talking at all.

– Missing Persons, “Words

You would think that at this point we already have all of the words in the dictionary that we need (or would ever use). But new words and phrases are created every year, and Merriam-Webster adds them to their hefty tome.

They’ve recently added 690 new words and phrases to the dictionary, and while some of them are logical (such as “logline,” which is “a simple synopsis of a screenplay, film, novel, etc.”), some of them are words I am never going to use.

A “thirst trap” is “a photograph, selfie, or video shared for the purpose of attracting attention or desire;” a “girlboss” is “an ambitious or successful woman;” and “ngl” stands for “not gonna lie.”

I cannot imagine a scenario where I would use those words (though I guess I could have started this sentence with “ngl”).

How about ” ‘grammable?” That’s a picture that is “suitable to be posted on Instagram.” I guess you’d have to be a member of Instagram to use that.

An “edgelord” is “someone who uses wildly dark and exaggerated statements on the internet with the intent of shocking others.” Most of us have another word to describe those kinds of people, but I don’t want to say it on a family web site.

Can you guess what “cheffy” means? It sounds like it could be a minor skin problem, but it’s actually “a characteristic of or befitting a professional chef.” I don’t think any chef would like that word being used to describe what they do.

I’m amazed that “jorts” wasn’t already in the dictionary, but maybe Merriam-Webster was hoping they would just go away at some point over the past several decades.

One word I might start using is “cromulent.” That’s an adjective you use when something is “acceptable or satisfactory.” I like the sound of it. “Cromulent.” It sounds old-fashioned and new at the same time.

Try Saying Those Words with a Georgia Accent

Or maybe not, because it’s disappearing, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Turn On Turn-On

Turn-On has the honor – if you want to call it that – of being the shortest-lived show in the history of television. It was canceled halfway through its February 5, 1969, premiere. Now George Schlatter, the creator of the show who also created Laugh-In, has released the two completed episodes of the show on YouTube.

Schlatter also has a new book out, Still Laughing: A Life in Comedy.

Did You Like the Seinfeld Finale?

If not, Jerry has some good news for you.

The Signed Egg From 1951

If you signed an egg 72 years ago – assuming you’re the type of person who would sign an egg – would you think it had somehow survived? I mean, it’s an egg! Well, the one featured on Steve Hartman’s “On the Road” segment this week is still around, and so is the person who signed it.

Uploaded to YouTube by CBS Evening News

RIP Dick Butkus, Phyllis Coates, Michael Chiarello, Michael Bonallack, Anthony Holden, Dorothy Hoffner, and Murray Stenson

Dick Butkus was a Hall of Fame linebacker for the Chicago Bears who later became an actor. He died last week at the age of 80.

Phyllis Coates was the first to play Lois Lane on The Adventures of Superman (she decided not to come back and was replaced by Noel Neill). She also appeared in such movies as I Was a Teenage FrankensteinThe Baby Maker, and Goodnight, Sweet Marilyn, as well as TV shows like Perry MasonLeave it to Beaver, and Lois & Clark. She died Wednesday at the age of 96.

Michael Chiarello was a chef and Emmy-winning Food Network host. He died Saturday at the age of 61.

Michael Bonallack was Britain’s greatest amateur golfer. He died last week at the age of 88.

Anthony Holden was a journalist and author who wrote dozens of books on a variety of subjects, from Shakespeare to the Royals to popular books about poker. He died Saturday at the age of 76.

Dorothy Hoffner was the woman who received a lot of attention earlier this month when she skydived at the age of 104. She died this week.

Murray Stenson was a legendary bartender at Seattle’s Zig-Zag Café who helped make classic cocktails popular again when he put the Prohibition-era cocktail The Last Word on the menu. He died last month at the age of 74.

This Week in History

Sergeant York Leads Attack (October 8, 1918)

Alvin C. York was one of the most decorated soldiers of World War I. He received the Medal of Honor for leading an attack on a German stronghold, killing 25 and capturing 132. His exploits were made into the 1941 film Sergeant York starring Gary Cooper, who won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance.

Don Larsen’s Perfect Game (October 8, 1956)

It’s still the only perfect game pitched in a World Series.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Webster’s Dictionary (October 8, 1910)

If you buy this and mention you saw it in the Post, you get free world maps!

October is National Chili Month

The “chili weather” headline above could easily say “chilly weather,” and I guess I shouldn’t have assumed that it’s suddenly cooler everywhere. But it’s October and the leaves are changing and everyone’s drinking pumpkin spice and in just a month-and-a-half Thanksgiving is going to be here, so …

… try this Comforting Chili from our own Curtis Stone. Or maybe Food & Wine’s classic Cincinnati Chili, which is put on top of spaghetti. Bon Appétit has a Vegetarian Chili with Lots of Fritos (you can’t forget the Fritos), and this pumpkin season you can even make a Turkey Pumpkin Chili, from the Post’s Tamatha Crist.

Last but not least, Southern Living has a Cheesy Chili Hash Brown Bake. It looks delicious. A southern accent is optional.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Be Bald and Free Day (October 14)

I celebrate both of these things every day.

Dictionary Day (October 16)

Here’s what you should do: open up your dictionary to a random page and with your eyes closed put your finger on a word. Whatever the word is, you have to use it all day long.

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  1. I’m surprised that in your RIP section you didn’t list the passing of Mark Goddard of Lost in Space fame. He passed away on October 10th at age 87.

  2. Love the opening paragraph and Missing Persons video, from the most ’80s years of the decade, 1981-’85. Took me right back to that wonderful concert. Fantastico!

    ‘Turn On” is something I’ll have to watch later, I appreciate the link. February 5, 1969 was when a magazine on my shelf now (with a horrible claymation cover) was still on the newsstands before getting a restorative makeover. I love Seinfeld, but never liked the ’98 finale. Looks like it too will be getting the makeover it needs as well.

    Be Bald and Free Day was today? It’s hot out here, in the high 90s Sunday. Sneezing, scratchy throat, windy. No bad hair day is about the only good thing going on. Thank God for that hair gel, Bob. Static electricity can be a real problem. Too hot to go horse back riding, but not for some shorter, magical mind-spirit connection healing time.


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