Last modified on 5 June 2006, at 19:00

User:Dmh/field sightings

This page collects usages that I've heard or seen in day-to-day situations, but haven't had time to make into proper entries. If you get the chance before I do, please go ahead. If it's a new sense of an existing term, please let me know on the Talk: page for this page. Otherwise, there's no need, since the link will turn blue.

Terms to defineEdit

In no particular order, then:

  • stage of the game. Heard this morning on BBC in the context of Iran's nuclear programme, where the game metaphor is perhaps particularly apt.
  • big, in the sense of "Big Science", "Big Pharma", "Big Business". This is idiomatic, as it connotes great (and possibly undue) influence along with sheer size.
  • the thing of it is Used, mysteriously enough, essentially as a noun phrase, as in the ubiquitous "The thing of it is, is ..."
  • hit it big Free association from "big", above
  • hit the jackpot more free association
  • hit the big time more ...
  • big time Also an adjective (perhaps hyphenated), as in "He's a big time loser." or "He's a big-time loser." As an aside, it would be nice if hyphenated and non-hypehenated versions could be found in the same title search on an equal footing, even though they're not used in precisely the same way."
  • the bigs Major-league baseball
  • the show ditto. Capitalize "show" and "bigs"?
  • by the same token
  • token effort (probably covered by existing definitions of token, which are good, but a bit terse (note to self)).
  • note to self Set phrase, if not outright idiomatic.
  • great deal Both "Twenty bucks for those shoes is a great deal!" and "I have a great deal of sympathy for that cause."
  • scar This article on NASA's future plans mentions plans to "scar the architecture" to allow for an anticipated future change.
  • hell if I know (note, only used in first person, so it's not "hell if one knows")
  • damned if I know ditto
  • straightaway Straight section of a race course; immediately (British)... or is that spelt as two words?
  • earthshaking
  • groundbreaking
  • hereafter Both "The plaintiff, hereafter referred to as ..." and "He's gone to the hereafter (i.e., died)".
  • by and by Both "The coffee would come, by and by." and "He's gone to the sweet by and by (i.e., died)".
  • secure, reliable. In networking contexts, secure means secure against prying and tampering (using encryption, signatures and such), while reliable means that messages will be delivered in the face of (non-catastrophic) transport failures.
  • port replicator, docking station Plug your laptop into this to make it act more like a desktop.
  • shit fit/shit-fit/shitfit,hissie fit,conniption fit,conniption Tantrums (entry for conniption actually uses conniption fit in example. Should be given as synonym for connption fit (cf. bob short for bob haircut)
  • throw a fit, pitch a fit ways to throw tantrums
  • have a fit Throw a tantrum, but also be struck by an epileptic seizure.
  • a fit of E.g., "In a fit of desperation.", "I had a fit of the giggles, but I'm OK now."
  • perfect fit,fit like a glove,fit like a hand in a glove,a good fit Metaphorical senses
  • fit as a fiddle In fine shape.
  • light pollution Astronomer's bane.
  • bear fruit Methaphorical senses. This article on meteor showers refers to the sky bearing fruit.
  • break stride As in "without breaking stride." "Nobody will break my stride."
  • microox/microoxen. This BBC news item describes algae being used as "microoxen" to move around tiny polystyrene beads.
  • find oneself As in "I found myself all alone," "I found myself a nice house in the country," "I went on a spiritual journey to find myself."
  • watch like a hawk To monitor very closely.
  • tunnel in network security sense in an O'Reilly article, including both use and definition.
  • 3133t d00dz in otherwise English text, from the same place.
  • fly on the wall Wouldn't mind being one, sometimes.
  • let slip/let it slip I let it slip that I was able to help out if needed.
  • let slip by The spell checker let it slip by since it's in the dictionary (even if it's the wrong word).
  • poor man's An incomplete version of something more powerful or useful, useful in itself in limited circumstances. E.g., "S- Adenosylmethionine is not as chemically elegant a molecule as adenosylcobalamin, so it may be regarded as "a poor man's adenosylcobalamin."
  • poor man's copyright, poor man's patent Mailing something to yourself in a sealed envelope to datestamp it. Neither legally valid nor useful.
  • spin up Various hardware/software senses, e.g. "my hard drive won't spin up", but also something more like "spin up an LPD process". Also maybe DJ sense, textile sense and metaphorical extensions?
  • wind down Not an antonym of "spin up"
  • come up to speed Literal sense and metaphoric extensions
  • pharming Attempt to gain sensitive data using fake websites, often together with DNS poisoning.
  • McMansion,starter castle,monster home Three epithets mentioned here.
  • take deep To hit a long home run off of.
  • gem (Baseball) a perfect game.
  • no-no (Baseball) a no-hitter.
  • thirtysomething,fortysomething Not sure if the other -somethings are attested. They're not quite idiomatic, since the construction carries a subtle connotation having to do with not revealing the exact age.
  • tween A 10, 11 or 12-year-old (?); also as a verb in animation.
  • webinar Seminar given over the web. (E)
  • libnut Used mostly by right wing sources to disparage opponents. (E)
  • ziggy socky, ziggy sockey! Hoy! Hoy! Hoy! From German Zicke zacke, zicke zacke, Heu, Heu, Heu! Said prior to chugging beer, also seen as a general "hurrah". (E)
  • crisitunity Blend of crisis and oportunity, inspired by misreading of a Chinese character, but used nonetheless. (E)
  • cat-vacuuming A notional form of procrastination
  • blabble Two senses found (from memory): Incoherent babbling in general, and babbling on a blog in particular.
  • zenslap The slap administered by a Zen master to a pupil who has lost the plot (or never had it). By extension, any such "wake up call".
  • The following are taken from NOAA hurricane bulletins like this one
  • dropsonde Used in gathering data on hurricanes
  • Dvorak T-number Measure used in characterizing hurricane development
  • subjective Dvorak intensity likewise
  • steering current Influences the path of a hurricane
  • baroclinic trough Not sure what it is, but it can help strengthen a cyclone
  • tropical depression Hurricane in the making (or unmakiing)
  • tropical storm Formal designation based on a given wind strength
  • extratropical Outside the tropics, particularly in reference to a storm system. There is evidently more to it than just physical location (e.g., "Maria still a tropical storm over the far North Atlantic.") NOAA stops covering a storm when it's extratropical.
  • outflow Wind currents out of the center of a vorticial storm.
  • shear Divergence in low-level and high-level air currents, tending to weaken a storm.
  • initial intensity Measure of the strength of a storm.
  • initial motion Measure of the movement of a storm.
  • named storm A tropical storm, hurricane, typhoon etc. strong enough to have been formally given a name. Certain technical requirements must be met, so the term is idiomatic.
  • model guidance Forecasting information derived from running a particular suite of computer models. At least borderline idiomatic (could also be, but isn't, what a photographer tells a model, or any of a number of other things).
  • tectonism Tectonic activity, analogous to vulcanism. See this BBC news item for an example]
  • eclipse, occultation This astronomy article from Auntie uses both terms, but I'm not sure that they've got the technicalities quite right. This is probably another technical/colloquial divergence.
  • Auntie Auntie Beeb.
  • the Beeb Auntie.
  • nanodesign There are now firms specializing in "Computer Aided Nanodesign"
  • NIMBY/nimbyism, BANANA, NOPE Not In My Back Yard, Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody, Not On Planet Earth.
  • framer In discussions of US law, a framer of the constitution (formerly a founding father — is either of these capitalized?). Also, someone who frames houses and buildings.
  • cuppa. White, no sugar.
  • Slick, Mac, Buddy, Big Guy: In the US at least, these are generic nicknames one might use to address any random stranger. Each has its own connotations, and some are more current than others.
  • Guv: Being a yank, I won't presume to lay out the intricacies of this one. It's in somewhat the same class as the previous entry, but clearly not the same.
  • Toots, Babe: More generic nicknames (not to mention Toots and the Maytals)
  • away from: This is subtly different from from. In the US, at least, you can run away from a bear, or run from a bear, but you run away from home, and never just from home. Similarly, "I came away from that meeting with a good feeling", but "I come from the United States." (though perhaps "come from" and "come away from" are idiomatic in themselves).
  • outroar: Sentator Brownback (R, KS) in John Roberts's confirmation hearings. Clearly meant "outrage" or "uproar", but let's see if it catches on.
  • stepped-frequency microwave radiometer One term or two? From NOAA discussion of hurricane Ophelia: "Stepped-frequency microwave radiometer surface wind data from a NOAA reconnaissance aircraft indicate maximum sustained winds in hurricane Ophelia have increased to near 85 mph."
  • SSTS A measure of ocean temperature. Pretty sure the ST part stands for "Surface Temperature". Sample usage: "After that, much colder water with SSTS less than 20C located to the north of 41N latitude should quickly assist in Ophelia transitioning into an extratropical low pressure system over the North Atlantic."
  • shortwave ridge Another weather forecasting term, taken from NOAA/NHC, but almost certainly in wider use (at least among meteorologists).
  • pudgy US form of podgy (podgy appears on http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4261076.stm).
  • dirty little secret From Yahoo's daily analysis of the bond market: As one astute player noted the market should be prepared for how the post-Katrina numbers should play out, as he whispered, "Dirty little secret...we've had hurricanes before." Not sure if this stuff is durably archived.
  • chipping (i.e., chip as verb, to install a mod chip) from PlayStation loses chipping case BBC online
  • street legal,street-legal From an online article on expensive cars Article uses both spellings.
  • rain shield,rain band,rain shadow: More meteorology
  • high ceremony,low ceremony: Used to describe software development processes, "ceremony" being the amount of visible formality accompanying a given change. May also be hyphenated
  • chicken cutlets (UK) Flesh-colored silicone inserts for brassieres.
  • environmental refugee Used and defined in this BBC online article
  • endemic dwarfing, island dwarfing, island-dwarfing First two defined, last defined in this BBC online item.
  • moot as a verb: "Lawrence ... also mooted the idea ... " Lawrence's Mid-East map on show, BBC online.
  • retrofit, seismic retrofit: Heard on NPR this morning. The host said "retrofitted" for the past tenses, while the guest insisted on "retrofit". Seismic retrofit may or may not be idiomatic. In practice, it means a certain class of improvements to a building built before the building codes were strengthened.
  • Food and Drugs Administration (sic). The BBC has this in this online article. The FDA, of course, has "Drug", singular. It would be one thing if HM government had its own "Food and Drugs Administration", but the corresponding agency has, I believe, a completely different name in the UK. In that light, it's hard to think of this as a regional variant. On the other hand, dare we call the BBC's version a "misspelling"?
  • col Another one from NOAA reports. Meteorological term, extending the metaphor of high-pressure ridges and low-pressure troughs.
  • eyewall replacement cycle The inner eyewall of a hurricane (or similar cyclonic storm) deteriorating and an outer eyewall moving in, etc.
  • loop current Nearly self-explanatory, but refers to a particular kind of large-scale air current. May have another specialized meaning in electronics, but does not mean "any kind of current exhibiting any kind of loop".
  • juco prep "junior college" and "high school", generally used in sports (e.g. This SI online article). Note that a "prep school" generally means an exclusive private school, while "prep" in a sports article is any high school.
  • CO2 Used by the BBC in "greenhouse gases such as CO2". (See discussion of LiF). The headword exists, but the spelling is given as CO2, and the definition is "the molecular formula for carbon dioxide" as opposed to just "carbon dioxide".
  • temple, shrine In English descriptions of Japan, "shrine" means "Shinto shrine" while "temple" means "Buddhist temple". I'm not convinced there's anything more going on here than just convention. I would expect that Japanese uses two different words, but translating one as "temple" and one as "shrine" seems arbitrary (though useful).
  • inside-baseball Used as an adjective by US journalists, meaning roughly "of interest only to wonks" E.g., "We cut the segment about interest rates because it was too inside-baseball". Probably refers to SI's (ESPN's?) "Inside Baseball".
  • sumnonsed (i.e., summons as a verb). Right here in the headline "Malawi vice president summonsed", courtesy of the BBC. Rings a slight bell from my time in England (no, it didn't happen to me :-).
  • whatnot/wot not. As I understand it, "whatnot" is a reanalysis. English "wot" is cognate with German wissen, Dutch weten, etc. (and English wit for that matter, I reckon), as in "as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him." (Exodus 32:1, KJV)
  • hacker,cracker This BBC online item uses the two fairly interchangeably.
  • might could This AP article on NBA rookie Raymond Felton, Jr. has his mom saying "He told us he met some people from North Carolina and they told him he might could get a scholarship to go there." The Feltons are from Latta, S.C.
  • aquashell This BBC article mentions a concert performed by an orchestra in a "floating aquashell" (includes picture of aquashell).
  • capologist One responsible for a team's compliance with the NFL's (or other sport's?) salary cap. Presumably also capology?
  • celebutante Blend of celebrity and debutante, e.g. Paris Hilton.

SpellingEdit

  • The NASA article mentioned above uses scaring where I would have expected scarring. My guess is that it's a typo that their spell checker let slip since it's a valid inflection of scare.
  • A BBC article used argueing where I would have expected arguing. I'm guessing this is the usual British spelling.
  • The whole question of when to double the final consonant when attaching -ing seems unsettled at the moment, or maybe I just never learned the rule completely. I thought the rule was that the final consonant was doubled when needed to preserve a short vowel sound, e.g., targetting, but if this is the rule there are clearly numerous exceptions.
  • wierd Common misspelling of weird (also a typo for wired), but we probably don't need to note that.)
  • dependant/independant/dependance/... Common misspelling of dependent/independent/dependence/... except AHD gives dependant as a variant (but not so for independant). But wait ... apparently this may also be the (an?) accepted British spelling. Does this carry over to the derived forms as well?

CitationsEdit

  • This tide level if you like, just hasn't moved over the past 24 hours. BBC Coverage of Hurricane Katrina. Yet more evidence that tide fundamentally refers to local water level and the gravitational sense is secondary.

Hoops seasonEdit

  • A goldmine from SI online: "Stanford plays in the halfcourt with a true point, and the bigs are always going to set screens," says Johnson. "We run a lot of sets out of the halfcourt system where you have a big-on-little screen. Shooters have probably looked at that during the recruiting process. I know we have tried to attract guys by telling them, 'Look, in our system, you are going to get a chance to get an open shot. If you can shoot the ball, you are going to be plugged in and you will be able to do certain things here.'"

MiscEdit