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May 2, 2022
This week’s theme
New words

This week’s words
clickbait
omnishambles
listicle
acquihire
paywall

clickbait
Your brain on clickbait
Intrigued → Excited → Disappointed → Angry → Depressed
In approximately three seconds
Image: desdemona72 / Shutterstock

Previous week’s theme
There’s a word for it
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

The universe is expanding. Galaxies, stars, everything is going farther away. Maybe they have taken this social distancing thing to heart.

My theory is that the expansion is to make room for all the new words we keep adding to the language. These new additions help us describe new ideas and new things, not all of them good.

When we say new, we don’t mean words coined this morning. In the world of words, things move slowly. Some of these words have been around for decades. It’s just that it takes time for them to bubble up and be noticed. When most of the words in the language are hundreds of years old, a few decades is relatively new.

What new words have you coined? Share below or email us at words@wordsmith.org. As always, include your location (city, state). Sometimes a word is coined by several persons independently. Don’t forget to google your word first to make sure no one else has thought of it earlier.

clickbait

PRONUNCIATION:
(KLIK-bayt)

MEANING:
noun: A sensationalized, often misleading, headline that is designed to entice users to click on a hyperlink.

ETYMOLOGY:
A combination of click + bait, a headline that makes a user click on the link to find out more, only to be disappointed by content of dubious value. Earliest documented use: 1999.

USAGE:
“‘Amy’s fishing for clickbait!’ she said, with an eye roll.
‘What?’ Amy snapped. ‘I am not! My articles have depth and substance, Janet!’”
Lisette Prendergast; Bianca De Lumiere; Full Time Unicorn Press; 2020.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Man can be the most affectionate and altruistic of creatures, yet he's potentially more vicious than any other. He is the only one who can be persuaded to hate millions of his own kind whom he has never seen and to kill as many as he can lay his hands on in the name of his tribe or his God. -Benjamin Spock, pediatrician and author (2 May 1903-1998)

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