Word of the Day + Repost: The top 10 words of TED2015

Great top 10 list here from TED Blog. But the word that caught my eye is “retronym,” used in number 9. If you click the link it takes you to wordnik.com which defines the word this way:

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
  • n. A word or phrase created because an existing term that was once used alone needs to be distinguished from a term referring to a new development, as acoustic guitar in contrast to electric guitar or analog watch in contrast to digital watch.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
  • n. A new word or phrase coined for an old object or concept whose original name has become used for something else or is no longer unique (such as acoustic guitar where guitar used to mean this but can now also refer to an electric guitar).
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
  • n. a word introduced because an existing term has become inadequate

Read user feedback on this word over at wordnik.com and see how TED Blog uses it in the post below. While you’re at it store these 10 words in the back of your brain. You’re sure to see and hear them again in the coming months.

TED Blog

Erin McKean shares the top 10 words of TED2015. Her #6: placemaking, from Theaster Gates' TED Talk. Photo: Bret Hartman/TED Erin McKean shares the top 10 words of TED2015. Her #6: placemaking, from Theaster Gates’ TED Talk. Photo: Bret Hartman/TED

TED is about ideas worth spreading, and these often come wrapped up in words worth knowing. Here are some of the great words from TED2015:

10. Neurodiversity. From Steve Silberman’s talk on the history of the autism spectrum. It’s a word that began popping up in 1998, and it means “the variety of configurations of the brain, especially with regard to autism.” A word all neurotypical people should know.

9. Kinetic attack. From David Rothkopf’s talk on the global threat of cyberattacks. Kinetic attacks involve moving parts — think bullets and bombs. This phrase is an example of a retronym.

8. Court-scraper. Heard at a lunch to celebrate the publication of The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings by Marc Kushner. The context: “But not, of course…

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