I came across this word in this week’s Chicago Code. It was an interesting word, especially phonetically. When repeated quickly, both words get mixed up.

ex-sex (n) having sex with one of your exes.

Does your fiancée know about the ex-sex?




epistolary (comparative more epistolary, superlative most epistolary)

more epistolary
most epistolary
  1. of, or related to letters, or the writing of letters
  2. carried on by written correspondence

An epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters, although diary entries, newspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used. Recently, electronic “documents” such as recordings and radio, blogs, and e-mails have also come into use. The word epistolary comes from the Latin word epistola, meaning a letter.

{via wikitionary}

On Asshats, Asstards & Assclown

Asshat is a slightly trendier and less severe variation of asshole, graphically describing someone who has his “head up his own ass” (i.e., not knowing what’s going on): one is wearing one’s ass for a hat. A more modern usage of asshat describes a person doing something stupid, and can apply to anyone: “The boss is up to asshattery because he broke the computer even though he knew he was doing the wrong thing.” This meaning was popularized by Something Awful character Jeff K. The word is popular in many online communities, serving as a more palatable version of its antecedent. According to Google’s Usenet statistics, the word only saw a token appearance every day or two starting in July 1999, but following a slow rise in 2002, it entered popular usage in May 2003. As it continued to grow in popularity, asshat began to be used by online gamers, in first person shooter and massively multiplayer role playing games. It was a commonplace word on servers where vulgar language was not allowed.

The insult assclown is used in a similar fashion, although it is not as common. Assclown has become well known among fans of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) due to wrestler Chris Jericho using it during his promos, especially his “Highlight Reel”. The term was also used in the film Office Space to describe singer-songwriter Michael Bolton. “Assclown” is also used by radio personality Todd Schnitt.

Asstard is another rarer variant upon the ass- theme. It is possibly a portmanteau of asshole and retard and has almost the same meaning as asshole, but with a greater implied connotation of stupidity. An identically spelled version of the same word is a contraction of asshole and bastard, with a commensurately more abusive meaning.

Asspit is a descriptive noun following this construction, used to describe places that are run-down or dirty, as in: “This house is an asspit.” It has a generally pejorative connotation.

Blackball & to Blackball & Blackballing


  • enPR: blăk’bôl’
  • IPA: /blæk’bɔːl/



blackball (plural blackballs)

  1. a rejection, a vote against admitting someone
  2. a black ball used to indicate such a negative vote
    Regardless how many other people may have voted to approve a candidate for membership,a single blackball will reject the candidate.
  3. the act of so rejecting someone


to blackball
Third person singular
Simple past
Past participle
Present participle

to blackball (third-person singular simple present blackballs, present participle blackballing, simple past and past participle blackballed)

  1. (transitive) to vote against, especially in an exclusive organization
    If you’re not from a moneyed, well-connected family, you can count on getting blackballed from the fraternity.
  2. (transitive) to ostracize

{via wiki}

Al Gore Is A Typomaniac

Old Brioni font vs new Brioni font

Looks like Al Gore is also a typomaniac,

A person who is obsessed with typography, or more generally with the business of printing and publishing 2006, Neil Macmillan, An A-Z of Type Designers[1], ISBN 0300111517, page 166:


to gift-lift (compound verb)

This describes the action of stealing something and then giving it as a gift to someone else. The action of stealing is the “lifting” part of the verb.

Notes: Gift-lifting reminds me a lot of the commonly used term regifting, when received gifts are given to other people, usually in the guise of it being a new gift, because they aren’t liked or needed initially. There can be charitable motives to regifting, but it usually saves buying a useless gift for someone that isn’t that close to you. It’s akin to recycling or re-purposing gifts.

Ex: Neil gift-lifted this Hermès scarf from Nordstrom’s to his girlfriend Joan.

Light-Switch Romance

Light-switch romance (compound noun, singular)

An intense on- and off-again romantic relationship between two people. It’s an analogy to the on/off button of a light-switch interrupter. There’s no in-between. It’s either full on or full off.

Notes: Naturally, this doesn’t take into consideration the use of a dimmer for the light-switch. I just had to say that because I found that funny.

Ex: Regina’s light-switch romance with her biker boyfriend recently got out of hand.

LEGO Nomenclature For LEGO Building Families

I found this article pretty interesting, since each child makes up different names for the LEGO bricks. The nomenclature differs from family to family.

Death Panels and Trollumnists

After getting the term trollumnist out there, I came upon this article over at 3QD which clearly points out a few examples of trollumnists. Unlike the original article which coined the term trollunist, these aren’t Australian examples, but really good American ones.

The first example of a trollumnist is is none other than Betsy McCaughey, who’s infamous for coining death panels and being the architect behind the idea.

Betsy McCaughey – architect of the widely rumored “death panels” idea – that Obama’s health care proposals would create government sponsored draconian consultations imposing conditions upon both patients in end-of-life circumstances and doctors treating said patients to decide which patients were worthy of living.

Here is where the trolluminsm comes in:

James Fallows of the Atlantic Monthly described her role in the healthcare debate as: “She has brought more misinformation, more often, more destructively into America’s consideration of health-policy issues than any other individual. She has no concept of “truth” or “accuracy” in the normal senses of those terms, as demonstrated when she went on The Daily Show¹. Betsy resigned from the board of directors of Cantel Medical Corporation the next day.

Bill Kristol is another fine example of a trollumnist.

But Jon manages to rise past the agendas of his guests – conservatives and liberals alike – in the most ingratiating manner. When he peppered Bill Kristol – editor of Weekly Standard, a right-wing opponent of health care reform that includes a public insurance option – he even managed to steer him into complimenting government run health-care².

Parachute Kids

Parachute kids are Asian-born international students who have come to the United States to study unaccompanied by their parents. Usually, they will stay with a family member, like an aunt or grandparent. But sometimes, the parents hire someone to act as their guardian.

Children of rich Asian families sent to live in U.S. suburbs known for good schools and safe streets. Typically, mothers try to split their time between their husbands in Asia and their children in America, often leaving housekeepers in their stead. Parents may feel guilty about spending too little time with their kids and shower them with money and gifts, says May To, executive director of the Asian Youth Center, which has dealt with parachute kids.

This is quite common in Taiwan. I’ve known quite a few parachute kids that were getting some intensive ESL tutoring in order to be able to speak well in the US or Canada. Typically, a lot of Taiwanese pursue graduate degrees in the US as well, after completing their undergraduate degree in Taiwan. Parents will save for years to make this possible.

While this can be seen as a great opportunity, it can also be trouble for the children that won’t be supervised as assiduously as by their own parents. In some cases, the kids will live alone in apartments paid for by their parents without any supervision. It can also leave them vulnerable to kidnapping, much more than if they were living with their parents.