Word of the Day

Friday, March 02, 2018

phub

[ fuhb ]

verb

Slang. to ignore (a person or one's surroundings) when in a social situation by busying oneself with a phone or other mobile device: Hey, are you phubbing me?

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What is the origin of phub?

Phub was first recorded in 2010–14. It blends the words phone and snub.

how is phub used?

I found myself glancing at my phone in the middle of conversations … conveniently forgetting how annoyed I felt when other people phubbed me.

Catherine Price, How to Break Up with Your Phone, 2018

What we discovered was that when someone perceived that their partner phubbed them, this created conflict and led to lower levels of reported relationship satisfaction.

Jo Piazza, How to Be Married, 2017
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Thursday, March 01, 2018

aberration

[ ab-uh-rey-shuh n ]

noun

the act of departing from the right, normal, or usual course.

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What is the origin of aberration?

The English noun aberration has wandered far from its Latin original. Cicero (106-43 b.c.) is the first (and only) Latin author to use the noun aberrātiō “distraction, diversion, relief (from pain or sorrow).” Aberrātiō is a derivative of the verb aberrāre “to divert, forget for a time; to wander off, go astray, deviate.” Aberration entered English in the 16th century.

how is aberration used?

They don’t want to believe that the United States is opposed to action on global warming. They’d rather see the Trump administration as an aberration.

Lisa Friedman and Brad Plumer, "Introducing Our Newsletter, Climate Fwd:" New York Times, November 15, 2017

I had never fought or thrown a punch at anyone. It was an aberration to my father, and he had instilled in me this idea of physical violence as an aberration.

David Adams Richards, Mercy Among the Children, 2000
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

ufology

[ yoo-fol-uh-jee ]

noun

the study of unidentified flying objects.

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What is the origin of ufology?

Ufology was first recorded in 1955-60.

how is ufology used?

The First International Congress on the U.F.O. Phenomenon, which ended here yesterday, brought the two groups uncomfortably together, and, after a week of heated debate, a single theory of ufology seemed further away tha[n] ever.

Alan Riding, "Scientists and Laymen in Conflict At World Conference on U.F.O.'s," New York Times, April 25, 1977

The history of ufology shows the complex psychology of fringe beliefs.

Julie Beck, "What UFOs Mean for Why People Don't Trust Science," The Atlantic, February 18, 2016

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