The latest version of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary includes a couple of new geeky words like webinar, malware, netroots, pretexting and fanboy:
Webinar is "one more example of the significant ongoing trend for electronic technologies to add words to the language," Merriam-Webster publisher John Morse said in a Monday press release about the 100 or so new words in the 2008 edition of the influential reference guide.
That's in line with Merriam-Webster's choice of the term "wOOt"--with its roots in video game culture--as the word of the year for 2007.
The 100 or so new words in M-W's latest dictionary reflect societal trends beyond technology. For example, some stem from culinary arts, such as prosecco (a sparkling Italian wine), soju (a Korean vodka distilled from rice), edamame (immature green soybeans), and pescatarian (a vegetarian whose diet includes fish).
But my favorite new entry, by far, is mondegreen, defined as "a word or phrase that results from a mishearing of something said or sung." According to M-W, the term was first coined by author Sylvia Wright in 1954, when Wright wrote an article for The Atlantic magazine confessing to a childhood misinterpretation of the Scottish ballad "The Bonny Earl of Moray." "When she first heard the lyric, 'they had slain the Earl of Moray and had laid him on the green,' she felt terribly sorry for the 'poor Lady Mondegreen,'" according to the press release.