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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Word Spy's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, July 21st, 2004
9:59 pm
Recent lack of posts
The WordSpy emails stopped showing up after June 11. I can't find any mention of them now on the WordSpy site, and I assume Paul McFedries has discontinued the service. Thus, no more posts to the WordSpy community unless this changes. The website seems to show a random word each time you access it, not the most current word.

The website does link to an rss feed. I don't know whether it's active.
Friday, June 11th, 2004
1:53 pm
Mobile speed bump
mobile speed bump n.

A car that travels at the speed limit to force the cars behind to do the same.

Example Citations
The city of Vancouver is exploring the idea of sanctioning a
grass-roots traffic-calming program that enlists the silent majority
of reasonable, rational, law-abiding drivers to stop being so

Instead they'd slap NEIGHBORHOOD PACE CAR stickers on their vehicles
and set a highly visible example by rolling down Vancouver streets at
lawful speeds.

Yes, you heard right: Making Vancouver streets safer simply by making
a public point of driving the posted speed limit.
--Scott Hewitt, "How'd you like to be a mobile speed bump?," The
Columbian (Vancouver, WA), November 27, 2003

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Wednesday, June 9th, 2004
7:14 am
velocitize (vuh.LAWS.i.tyz) v.

To cause a person to become used to a fast speed.
--velocitization n.

Example Citations
Safety experts argue that speeding has "velocitizing" effects on
drivers, making it harder for them to slow down when conditions
change and it's urgent to do so.
--"The mentality behind the wheel," The Oregonian, December 10, 2003

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Monday, June 7th, 2004
10:30 pm
de-policing n.

A law enforcement strategy in which police avoid accusations of
racial profiling by ignoring traffic violations and other petty crimes
committed by members of visible minorities. Also: depolicing.

Example Citations
But as new leaders were promising action, rank-and-file officers were
reacting bitterly, saying if they were faulted for doing their job,
they'd stop all proactive policing. It's a practice known as

During a February, 2001 riot in Seattle, when police were accused of
taking a hands-off approach, one officer was quoted as saying:
"Parking under a shady tree to work on a crossword puzzle is a great
alternative to being labelled a racist and being dragged through an
inquest, a review board, an FBI and U.S. attorney investigation and
--Michelle Shephard, "Seattle offers insights into police profiling,"
Toronto Star, February 9, 2003

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Saturday, June 5th, 2004
12:36 pm
Squid squad
squid squad n.

A team of biologists and other scientists that researches the squid.

Example Citations
The giant squid has consumed the imaginations of many oceanographers.
How could something so big and powerful remain unseen for so long-or
be less understood than dinosaurs, which died out millions of years
ago? The search for a living specimen has inspired a fevered
competition. For decades, teams of scientists have prowled the high
seas in the hope of glimpsing one. These "squid squads" have in
recent years invested millions of dollars and deployed scores of
submarines and underwater cameras, in a struggle to be first.
--David Grann, "The Squid Hunter," The New Yorker, May 24, 2004

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Wednesday, June 2nd, 2004
8:30 pm
Living bandage
living bandage n.

A bandage or dressing made from skin cells, particularly cells
cultured from a sample of the patient's skin.

Example Citations
Last month he began a new treatment for an ulcer on his big toe which
has failed to heal for five years.

Doctors scraped skin cells from his thigh which were then grown in
the laboratory and are now being applied in a special "living
bandage" on his toe to kick-start natural skin growth. Early
indications are that the ulcer is at last beginning to heal.
--"'Living bandages' offer hope to skin patients," Yorkshire Post,
October 21, 2003

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8:04 am
Information environmentalism
information environmentalism n.

The movement that seeks to reduce information overload and its
effects on peoples' lives.
--information environmentalist n.

Example Citations
There's a growing "information environmentalism" movement in the
United States against the overwhelming torrent of more media than any
mind can cope with. Gurus of the movement are said to be throwing
away their TV sets with the same ideological zeal with which feminist
women are said, in the age just after the age of steam trains, to
have burned their bras.
--"Dear Madge," Canberra Times (Canberra, Australia), May 30, 2004

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Tuesday, June 1st, 2004
9:55 am
togethering pp.

Vacationing with one's extended family or friends. --n.

Example Citations
Those surveyed plan to take more vacation time at home this year as
there continues to be an emphasis on family after the terrorist
attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Yesawich said. Eight in 10 respondents
said they planned to vacation with extended family or friends, a
trend called "togethering" that is on the increase, he said.
--John Yantis, "Majority of Travelers Look for Deals on Internet,
Arizona Travel Expert Says," East Valley Tribune (Mesa, Arizona), May
25, 2004

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Friday, May 28th, 2004
8:58 am
Extreme ironing
extreme ironing n.

A pastime in which participants iron a few items of laundry while
engaged in an extreme sport or some other dangerous activity.

Example Citations
You read right: extreme ironing -- part sport, part spectacle. Press
garments while kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking or doing any
other outdoor activity you like. (Since extreme ironers must wait for
the invention of solar- and battery-charged irons, they heat their
irons with portable gas burners, campfires and generators.)
--Bryan Rourke, "Pressing concerns," The Providence Journal (Rhode
Island), May 22, 2004

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Thursday, May 27th, 2004
9:08 am
nanopublishing (nan.oh.PUB.lish.ing) n.

An online publishing model that uses a scaled-down, inexpensive
operation to reach a targeted audience, especially by using blogging
techniques. Also: nano-publishing.
--nanopublisher n.

Example Citations
Unlike Kelly's site, Gizmodo (gizmodo.com) is built for speed and the
quick hit, and it wants to be far more au courant than "Cool Tools."
It was launched by New York-based Brit Nick Denton -- who also
started the ultra-hip blog site Gawker.com, a mix of New York party
gossip and news. Denton's approach to online publishing is part of
trend that's been dubbed "nanopublishing."
--Stephen Williams, "Two Grand Blogs For Geeks, Gadget Freaks,"
Newsday (New York, NY), February 17, 2004

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Wednesday, May 26th, 2004
3:35 am
Green roof
green roof n.

A roof that is covered with plants, particularly one in which special
membranes and other layers serve to protect the rooftop and hold the
plants and soil in place. Also: green rooftop.
--green-roof adj.

Example Citations
Green roofs serve three major benefits to the city, said David
Reynolds, first deputy commissioner for Chicago's Department of
Environment. They help manage storm water by soaking up rain that
would otherwise go into the sewer system. They absorb carbon from the
air, and they reduce the urban heat island effect.
--Pamela Dittmer McKuen, "Installing green roofs can benefit the
environment--and budgets," Chicago Tribune, May 21, 2004

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Monday, May 24th, 2004
11:24 pm
undecorating (un.DEK.uh.ray.ting) pp.

Redecorating a home or room to give it a simpler, less cluttered look.
--undecorate v.

Example Citations
Storytelling -- long a factor in many forms of selling -- appears to
be gaining as a tactic for getting an edge in the crowded field of
residential real estate sales. ...

Forget "home staging," where firms swoop in, redecorate, and put
some potpourri on the stove to boil. Forget "undecorating" to give
prospective buyers a blank slate.
--Clayton Collins, "Every house tells a story," Christian Science
Monitor (Boston, MA), March 31, 2004

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Friday, May 21st, 2004
8:16 am
furkid n.

A pet treated as though it were one's child. Also: fur-kid, fur kid.

Example Citations
My name is Brenda Mejia and I'm owned by two Australian cattle dogs.
I don't have kids, so I call my dogs my 'furkids.' They keep me as
busy as a soccer mom.
--Brenda Mejia, "Pet stories," The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, CA),
April 30, 2004

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Wednesday, May 19th, 2004
11:55 pm
hyper-parenting n.

A child-rearing style in which parents are intensely involved in
managing, scheduling, and enriching all aspects of their children's
lives. Also: hyperparenting.
--hyper-parent v., n.
--hyper-parental adj.

Example Citations
We live in an age of hyper-parenting, where a child is the ultimate
validation of an adult's ego and the little time they have to spend
with them must be "quality time". There is little room for deviance,
boredom or unplanned curiosity in the modern child's routine,
especially when the parents return home from long hours at work.
--Tanveer Ahmed, "When Drugs Mask Our Society's Failings," The Age
(Melbourne, Australia), April 30, 2004

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Tuesday, May 18th, 2004
12:16 pm
Carbon neutral
carbon neutral adj.

Emitting no net carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Also: carbonneutral.
--carbon neutrality n.

Example Citations
Burning wood for fuel also generates carbon dioxide emissions, but as
long as new trees are planted to replace those used as fuel, the
level of emissions doesn't change as the new trees are soaking up
carbon to offset the emissions from the wood fuel. So wood fuel is
'carbon neutral.'
--"Better management of forests across Europe would tie up much more
carbon," Irish Independent, March 9, 2004

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Friday, May 14th, 2004
8:30 am
wildcrafting n.

The harvesting of wild plants, particularly for use as food or in
herbal medicines. Also: wild-crafting, wild crafting.
--wildcraft v., n.
--wildcrafter n.

Example Citations
The harvesting of wild plants (known as "wildcrafting") is more
complicated than one might imagine. Ethical wildcrafting includes
positive species identification and the avoidance of any
environmental impact on the plant in question as well as on the other
interdependent elements in the ecosystem. Once a harvest is completed
the area involved should look as though the wildcrafter was never
there. The bottom line is sustainability.
--Kerry Hackett, "Some herbs now at risk or near extinction,"
Stratford Beacon Herald (Stratford, Ontario), March 12, 2004

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Thursday, May 13th, 2004
8:29 am
Fiduciary capitalism
fiduciary capitalism (fi.DOOSH.ee.ayr.ee kap.uh.tuh.liz.um, fi.DOO.shuh.ree) n.

A capitalist model in which corporations are influenced and guided by
shareholders, particularly large institutional shareholders -- such
as pension funds and mutual funds -- that act on behalf of many
smaller investors.

Example Citations
Therefore, Monks believes, if shareholders become an "effective,
informed, competent counter force to whom management must be
accountable," which is what he advocates, much of what citizens might
otherwise seek through the political process will be available to
them as shareholders. The idea, which Monks calls fiduciary
capitalism, is to "restore ancient values of ownership that preceded
the corporate form, and that seem to have eluded corporations in the
long modern era."
--Joel Bakan, "The Corporation," Viking Canada, March, 2004

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Wednesday, May 12th, 2004
1:32 am
Noisy withdrawal
noisy withdrawal n.

The public withdrawal of legal representation in which the departing
lawyer, having knowledge of the client's existing or potential
improprieties, disavows work done for the client and notifies the
proper authorites of the withdrawal.
--noisily withdraw v.

Example Citations
Over objections from much of the legal profession, the SEC is
preparing to approve a new rule this spring requiring attorneys like
Emerson to blow the whistle when confronted with wrongdoing, sources
close to the commission say.

The two-part rule, likely to be adopted as soon as March or April,
would put the burden on corporate directors to disclose to the SEC
when a lawyer withdraws because of illicit activity. If the board
fails to act, the lawyer would be required to step away from the
client and report the wrongdoing--a measure known as a "noisy
--Greg Burns, "Rule is readied on duties of lawyer," Chicago Tribune,
February 1, 2004

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Monday, May 10th, 2004
11:27 pm
Grief tourist
grief tourist n.

A person who travels to the scene of a recent tragedy to mourn the
victim or victims.

Example Citations
The commentator, Francis Wheen, has labelled the frenzied pilgrims
that trekked to Soham the "grief tourists". Grieving over two girls
they didn't know and a tragedy they couldn't possibly understand.
Trampling on a tiny village's space and memories, full of Tennyson's
idle tears, to gratify some need in themselves.
--Gwen Halley, "Grief tourists lap up other people's pain," The
Sunday Independent (Ireland), March 14, 2004

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Friday, May 7th, 2004
8:22 am
Poop fiction
poop fiction n.

A literary genre that uses potty humor and off-color jokes to appeal
to young children.

Example Citations
In children's publishing, the smell of success has a rather offensive
odour these days.

From the Captain Underpants series to Walter The Farting Dog, tales
of breaking wind are turning slews of children onto what is being
described as "poop fiction." Walter's latest adventure, Trouble At
The Yard Sale, co-written by Canadian Glenn Murray, was Number 1 on
the New York Times bestseller list last week. There's even a
scratch-and-whiff book planned.
--"Chatter," The Toronto Star, May 2, 2004

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