Geek love + a challenge (with prizes!)

5 Dec

Thanks to my on-going dysgraphia (i.e., spelling disorder), I spend a fair amount of time on http://www.merriam-webster.com. I find it to be the most helpful of all the “look-up” tools/sites because:

(A) it gives me a nice list of word-choice options so long as I know the first 2 letters of the word I’m trying to spell (plain ol’ Google works best if I don’t know how a word starts but I can sorta-kinda sound it out and type in a fully approximated guess);

(B) it has a super-handy (for me) “medical” tab, which I use a LOT, especially this quarter, and especially during the last two weeks as I’ve worked on my neurophysiology term paper; and

(C) it has a super-nifty quiz tool called “Spell It!,” which provides 10 auditory cues for commonly misspelled words that you try to correctly type as quickly as possible, earning points along the way; you can then compare yourself to others in your age bracket and I am FINALLY getting an above-average score (it’ only taken me 2+ years to get there, post brain-bashing) — woo hoo!!

[WARNING: If you click on that Spell It! link, you CANNOT hold me responsible for the time-suck vortex you will find yourself in as you try to outperform your peers]

So, yeah, I kinda ♥ the MW website.

And on Tuesday, as I looked up “consanguineous” my MW ♥ grew even BIGGER.

Why?

Because on that day — on that very day, December 3, 2013 —  the wonderful, brilliant, helpful humans behind the MW website declared “SCIENCE” to be their 2013 Word of the Year.

It made me want to throw a party for all my Word- and Science-Geek friends (hint, that’s you), so we could all geek-out together. While the poseurs and pretenders over at The Oxford Dictionaries may have chosen “selfie” as their too trendy word of the year (WotY), MW knows what’s up. They know what’s real. They know what’s important.

Science.

You may think it’s strange to choose a word, “science,” which (presumably) everyone in the world knows and loves(?) as much as all JustAdventurers do, but MW Editor-at-Large Peter Sokolowski nicely explained why MW selected “science” as its WotY:

It is a word that is connected to broad cultural dichotomies: observation and intuition, evidence and tradition. A wide variety of discussions centered on science this year, from climate change to educational policy. We saw heated debates about ‘phony’ science, or whether science held all the answers. It’s a topic that has great significance for us. And it fascinates us–enough so that it saw a 176% increase in lookups this year over last, and stayed a top lookup throughout the year.

Indeed, MW compiled its 2013 WotY list by comparing lookups in their online dictionary. The words on the list were the ones whose lookups increased the most in 2013.

So there you have it. “Science” tops the list because science was all the rage in this year’s arguments. “Selfie” is nowhere on the list because it’s a made-up, bullshize word that no one needs to look up.

MW’s remaining 9 WotY were: “cognitive,” “rapport,” “communication,” “niche,” “ethic,” “paradox,” “visceral,” “integrity,” and “metaphor.” As I read them, I got a little creeped out. Is the NSA/MW spying on me and using my life as the inspiration for this list? Science, cognitive, communication, rapport, paradox, metaphor …. um, hey guys, that’s ME you’re talking about! If they had included “bacon” or “bicycle” on their list, I think I would’ve lost my mind. 

Instead, I saw an interesting challenge for YOU, dear reader.

Because I’m deep in the abyss of preparing for next week’s back-to-back cumulative finals + term paper submission, I hereby turn over the remainder of this blog to YOU.

Here’s your challenge: In the COMMENTS section, please use all 10 MW WotY (science, cognitive, rapport, communication, niche, ethic, paradox, visceral, integrity, and metaphor) to write the briefest possible (yet 100% grammatically correct/still punchy) narrative. You may use the words in any order and in any form (i.e., feel free to convert words into verbs, adjectives, gerunds, etc).

There will be prizes for (a) the pithiest and (b) the most profound, profane, and/or proficient (as judged by me) entries. The prizes will probably involve beer, bacon, and/or JustAdventures stickers.

Can you use all 10 words in one sentence or some other radically condensed narrative?  Let’s see what you’ve got…

Go!

Parting Thought (dedicated to the idiots at The Oxford Dictionaries): If you have a big enough dictionary, just about everything is a word. ~Dave Barry

do-all-the-science

9 Responses to “Geek love + a challenge (with prizes!)”

  1. Carrie Kiley December 5, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    When dealing with people who have a high cognitive ability in science, establishing meaningful communication and rapport may seem impossible as they have a visceral aversion to paradoxes and metaphors, but if you focus on their niche specialty and speak ethically and with integrity, it can be a most rewarding conversation.

    • justadventures December 5, 2013 at 8:41 am #

      Damn! Your pithiness score is 19.6 – that’s gonna be hard to top. Well played, friend.

      • Suki Fisher December 5, 2013 at 10:19 am #

        Though bacon eating and cycling may seem an ethical paradox for those viscerally invested in the niche of health science, the cognitive, communicative rapport between stomach and mind serve as a metaphor for life.

        • justadventures December 5, 2013 at 10:53 am #

          Holy crap! Leave it to the English teacher! A response that includes bacon & bicycles? definitely earns double-extra style points and you would get a supremely excellent pithiness score of 29.4, too, BUT you failed to include one of the words (integrity). 😦

          Also, I would be super curious to have you specifically elucidate the “bacon eating/cycling/ethical paradox” metaphor for life…

        • Anonymous December 5, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

          Sorry, I was in a hurry.

          Though the integrity of bacon eating and cycling may seem an ethical paradox for those viscerally invested in the niche of health science, the cognitive, communicative rapport between stomach and mind serve as a metaphor for life.

        • justadventures December 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

          Excellent. Bonus points fully restored and a pithiness score of 27! Nicely done.

        • Suki Fisher December 5, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

          Sorry, I was in a hurry this morning.Ok, let’s try that again.

          Though the integrity of bacon eating and cycling may seem an ethical paradox for those viscerally invested in the niche of health science, the cognitive, communicative rapport between stomach and mind serve as a metaphor for life.

          The bacon eating/cycling/ethical paradox metaphor for life: The daily and eternal conflict of choosing between that which I want and that which is good for me, knowing they are not one and the same. Yet, in the end, what is most important is that I make my stomach happy. Or something like that…

      • Carrie Kiley December 6, 2013 at 6:39 am #

        I don’t feel TOO bad losing out to an English teacher; and concede that not including bacon and bicycles was a horrible oversight on my part. Hats off to your friend Suki for a great entry!

        • justadventures December 6, 2013 at 7:48 am #

          Aw, now, come on — you’re both winners in my book! Group hug!

          Send your snail-mail addresses to me (via FB message or to my personal email [last name] AT gmail DOT com and I’ll send your treats as soon as I’m done with finals.

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