Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wonderings and Googlings (Wherein I wonder about words, then I Google them)

newbie = 98,900,000 hits
newcomer = 23,900,000 hits

American Heritage online, Merriam-Webster online and Dictionary.com all define "newbie" as "newcomer." The two words are synonyms. But, on the Web at least, "newbie" is four times more popular.

I don't like "newbie." It reminds me of a "Seinfeld" episode in which Elaine, flirting with Newman, calls him Newmie. Creepy.

Still, looks like I'd better get used to it.

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10 comments:

Wordacious said...

Newman is creepy and so is the idea of Elaine flirting with him. Yuck, now I will never be able to hear the word "newbie" without thinking of Newman.

June Casagrande said...

Sorry I ruined that for you! Funny how word associations can be so powerful, huh?

Do you remember the episode I'm talking about? Elaine goes over to Newman's apartment because she wants something from him. I can't remember what. A Superbowl ticket? A ruling in a dispute over a bicycle? I don't recall.

Anyway, she really lays on thick the sappy, insincere flirtation. Skin-crawly stuff.

Blackwell said...

I think there are different connotations with newcomer and newbie. Newcomer implies someone who has recently joined something, at least in my world. Newbie sounds more like someone who's a little bit clueless. However, my favorite is n00b, with 5,090,000 hits on Google, since it's part of that sooo exclusive 1337 speak thing. Totally and completely derogatory.

June Casagrande said...

Oh, man! I don't know what 1337 is! I know I read some discussion of n00b. But I don't remember it. And 1337 doesn't ring any bells at all.

Feeling like a n00b ...

Blackwell said...

1337=LEET

Do you see how the 1 looks like an l, the 3's are backwards e's and the 7 is almost a t? Leetspeak uses numbers and letters flexibly to kind of make a secret code. Maybe now it rings a bell? *There's* a take on language for you! There was something on NPR about new words getting added to a dictionary or something (damn catching only the last bit) and how it was complicating things to have zeroes in a word. So much fun!

June Casagrande said...

Thank you for explaining. I've been SO out of it lately. I was playing ostrich for a few weeks on account of the book deadline. Then the sun went away. (I don't handle gray days well. One's okay. Two and I start making jokes that all share the punchline, "pass the razorblades." June gloom indeed.)

Anyway, I've been sort of removed from the goings on for some weeks now. (Pure luck that it coincided with a Sarah Palin resurgence.)

: )

I did see news about the millionth word. Been meaning to look into that. But leetspeak hasn't made it onto my radar. But I'm sure that somehow, somewhere, there are whippersnappers to blame for it ...

Blackwell said...

Ah, yes, June gloom makes June gloomy (sorry, just had to!). I know we'll be roasting before too long, so I'm trying to enjoy it, as best I can.

Anyhoo, leetspeak is more the doing of hacking whippersnappers then just whippersnappers. That way, you can post stuff on message boards about your nefarious deeds and it won't play out like the end of so many bad movies where the villain reveals his plan before it's been completed.

June Casagrande said...

Wow. That's crazy. Did the Patriot Act allow the government to scan the web for stuff like, "Dude, we're totally gonna do some whippets tomorrow"? That would explain it.

Either way, it vindicates my "Avoid teenagers at all costs" policy.

: )

Blackwell said...

Yes, you may do that and can have all the copy editing your heart desires!

Ooh, hey, another leet word that's made it into ordinary lexicon, p'raps: pwnd. Short for owned, started cuz p is close to o and sometimes you get excited.

June Casagrande said...

Weird. The Blogger.com message alerting me to your comment ended up in my spam folder.

That ain't good. Well, we'll always have pwnd.

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