Thanks to the New York Times’s online dictionary we now know what words New York Times readers don’t know and need to look up. It’s a not particularly useful but quite interesting list.
The NYT has an inbuilt dictionary which pops up a link to a definition when you click or highlight a word – so by counting clicks they can measure what words send people scuttling to the paper’s dictionary.
And – deep breath – here they are.. these are pretty serious. We’ve included the definitions (just in case).
1. sui generis – being the only example of its kind; unique
2. solipsistic – the adjective of “solipsism”: the theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified
3. louche – of questionable taste or morality; decadent
4. laconic – using or marked by the use of few words; terse or concise
5. saturnine – having or marked by a tendency to be bitter or sardonic
Cheesh. Well you won’t be seeing too many of those words in Shiny Shiny phone reviews, though quite a few USB gadgets could surely be called “louche” in that they are often of questionable taste.
(and lapidary, btw, means “gem-like”, that’s nice isn’t it?)[via the Nieman Journalism Lab]