The 5 Things Meme: Part I

January 8, 2007

There’s this thing circulating on the Internets where you’re supposed to blog about 5 things about yourself that others just might not know. Then you’re supposed to peg 5 of your friends to do the same. My friend Cameron nabbed me. So I’m going to do my best.

However, as I started writing my #1 item, I realized that it’s a bit long. So I’m going to split this post into 5 parts.

1. I inadevertently helped get a new word into the English language. During the year 2000, I (and friends) became unnaturally obsessed with words, specifically those listed in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), which is to say, all of them, as that’s OED’s raison d’etre, as it were, to print all of the words in the entire English language. To that end, if a word appears in the OED, that means it’s de facto part of the English lexicon.

Obnoxiously but without malice we heralded and bragged about such gems as (this one is my personal favorite) “quaquaversal” (tsomewhere from which every direction slopes downward).

Then I left for graduate school in England via most of the world, and met a fellow in Estonia at a hostel. His name was Matt, which was also the name of my three other closest friends when I lived in the UK.

I ran into this same gentleman in Latvia, where we took a bus to Lithuania together. Later on a train from Warsaw to Berlin, I ran into him again. As it turns out, he lived only about a 25-minute drive from where I was going to end up in England. So we hung out a fair bit.

Matt had friends, a couple who lived in Oxford, Graeme and Helen. Graeme, as it turned out, worked on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), specifically in their “new words” department or something similar. I was thrilled. We spent a couple of weekends in Oxford that fall. I began pressuring Graeme to research a word my friend Tom had been using on the Internet: “nugry.”

Later, towards winter, we were celebrating Graeme’s birthday in London, Camden specifically if I recall correctly. For some inexcusable reason, I wasn’t drinking, so I remember feeling out of place at the pub with my more jovial companions (which had “tup” in the name…oh, here it is).

We poured an inebriated Graeme back into Matt’s car for the drive back to Oxford, and Graeme said:

“I have something that will make your day, Lyza.”

He had been doing research on a term he heard me using with fair frequency–but it wasn’t “nugry.” He’d found that it had common enough and universal enough usage to add it to the next version of the OED.

The term is “foodcoma.” He told me the definition it would have (something like “A lethargy induced by consuming a large amount of food”).

“Graeme,” I said. “That makes my entire week.”

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