Thursday, May 18, 2023


It's been a while since my subconscious invented a new word which showed up in the early morning as I awoke.  But I got one today: "profeale" (pronounced "pro-FEEL".  It's a combination of "profile" and "reveal".  This is a noun describing a summary of a person which also gives you an insight, usually sudden, into their personality, character and motivations.  It can also be used as an adjective as in: "They went on a profeale date".

I awoke dreaming that I was writing it as "profile" and realizing that spelling was wrong because it has already been used for the spelling of "PRO-file".  I suppose profeale does not really need the silent "e" at the end, but it feels natural, somehow.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Liminal Space

According to, 

" has put out a list of new additions, including, antifragile, liminal space, petfluencer and digital nomad."

I especially like "liminal space".  It's perfect for describing my life right now.

Here's's definition --

liminal space  [ lim-uh-nl speys ]  
noun  a state or place characterized by being transitional or intermediate in some way:
Motels are such liminal spaces—everyone there is either coming or going.
In the film, Venice is a liminal space where the real and imaginary meet.
Informal. any location that is unsettling, uncanny, or dreamlike:
The classroom when school is out for the summer is a liminal space. 

 At present, I am between homes.  My house has sold.  Tomorrow is the real estate closing on the new townhouse I've bought.  My furniture and possessions are in boxes or in disarray.  My teaching materials for this, last week of the semester are all in my car so they won't get lost. I am living in liminal space.

More about new words in English has a big blog entry about new words in the English language.  

It's an interesting list, but I don't think it represents truly new terms.  For example, "knell" was used by Edgar Allen Poe in his poem "The Bells".

The very first word, abnegation, has its roots in a similar medieval word and Latin before that.  However, this may be a word that is being used by young people more in recent years because it is the name of one of the "factions" in the young adults' series "Divergent".

I must read the blog again from that viewpoint.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Screen Grab

No, I'm not posting one, here.

Instead, here's the definition from Oxford Language as found on Google:

screen grab
a frame of television or video footage that is digitized and stored as a still image for subsequent display, editing, or printing.
"a screen grab from Wednesday's episode"
take a screen grab of
"the rap star screen-grabbed almost a dozen tweets from fans"

This is a new term in English which I just saw and will make good use of.  It fills a need and, as a bonus, is colorful!

You could use the more standard, technical phrase "screen capture" or "screen shot" but that doesn't quite get across the immediacy of the action.

I saw the term in a story about a YouTuber who purposely crashed his plane to get more views, thereby breaking all sorts of FAA regulations.  Now, what sort of expression can we invent to describe that action?

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Tri-Level and Related

 I just sold my house and bought a townhome where I don't have to mow the lawn, shovel snow or repaint the garage doors.

This made me think about unique US architectural terms.  My old house was a tri-level, one form of split-level architecture largely inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright.  The new townhouse says it has an open floor-plan, currently a popular architectural feature.  The tri-level made excellent use of what you would call "shared air space", though not in the same way an open floor-plan does.  

People buying and selling homes in the US suburban sprawl use these terms.  How about other countries?  As a traveler, I'm usually in the heart of cities!  I did first learn the concept of a residential condominium decades ago when I went to France.  I need to ask my students about the words they encounter when looking for housing.

Unique US Musical Terms

 I'm still on my quest for unique US products.  The problem is, even if something is invented in the US it gets adopted and adapted in the rest of the world, with many other cultures putting a unique spin on it.

How about Jazz, Blues, Rap and Hip-Hop?  I do think when people hear these terms, or even the music itself, they still think of the US, even if the performer is in another country.