Four years of noting down my favourite words

14.09, Friday 26 Feb 2021 Link to this post

Feel free to skip reading this post. It’s just a big list of words and phrases, here so I don’t lose it.

On 27 February 2017, about four years ago, I tweeted these words: Storm Doris. Mimecom. Cloudbleed. Athleisure. Cromwell. H7N9. Trappist-1

In order, they are: a serious storm that was hitting the UK; the virtual reality technology in the the 1993 sci-fi TV miniseries Wild Palms; a major security hole discovered in a particular and widely-used content delivery network; a still fast-growing and newly mainstream fashion trend; the winner of the First English Civil War and only republican leader of the Commonwealth; a then-common bird flu subtype; a star only 40 light years away which had just been discovered to have four previously unknown terrestrial exoplanets.

I like words, and I note down ones that catch my eye as we cross paths. I have a little file, and once I have another seven or eight, I’ve been posting them as replies to that original tweet. Here’s the most recent one (19 Feb 2021).

I tend to record words that…

  • were everywhere and seemed perfectly normal at some point in the past, but now they’ve lapsed
  • feel novel today, but have a chance of being commonplace in the future – and maybe I can predict which ones
  • represent an idea that was, once upon a time, novel enough that it required naming, although now we wouldn’t bother to do so
  • put a name on an idea that hadn’t occurred to me
  • stand in for a much grander idea
  • lead to a surprising idea
  • are big in my corner of the world, though perhaps not for anyone else
  • dominate the public discourse right now, temporarily, and we all bandy around the word as if it actually means something, but it doesn’t and it’s super weird given any kind of distance at all
  • feel pleasant to say.

Sometimes I read over the list, random access style, just to remind myself of forgotten thoughts. Each word is a bookmark into a little cascade of concepts in my brain.

So because I’d like to keep these words somewhere I can find them in the future, I’m putting them here.

455 personally resonant words and phrases, in the order that they came to me:

  • Storm Doris
  • Mimecom
  • Cloudbleed
  • Athleisure
  • Cromwell
  • H7N9
  • Trappist-1
  • The Glorious Revolution
  • Hard Brexit
  • Answering machine
  • “Mute all eggs.”
  • Codex Hammurabi
  • Vault 7
  • Microburst Event
  • Jerry Cornelius
  • Article 50
  • Lacerta
  • Unforced error
  • Theia
  • Westinghouse
  • Bärenschliffe
  • Vanta Black
  • Henry VIII clauses
  • VDU
  • Hypertext
  • Slime
  • Sagittarius A*
  • Artificial mythology
  • Unicron
  • Homogenitus
  • BATNA
  • Frankpledge
  • Power user
  • Garden Bridge
  • Carthago delenda est
  • The Antikythera Mechanism
  • Click farm
  • Baal
  • Shinrin yoku
  • iuqerfsodp9ifjaposdfjhgosurijfaewrwergwea dot com
  • McCarthy
  • CMX1
  • Fidget device
  • Alarm clock
  • Information technology
  • Dark ads
  • Walk loop
  • YlnMn blue
  • BlessU-2
  • LOL Surprise Doll
  • Statistical mechanics
  • Remote control
  • New media
  • Kunstforscher
  • Abracadabra
  • Harmonized System Nomenclature
  • Peak Antibiotics
  • Van Life
  • Sourdough
  • Britpop
  • Late binding
  • The September that never ended
  • Calving
  • Fingerfehler
  • Extinction burst
  • Initial coin offering
  • Satisfiability
  • Total internal reflection
  • The Dude abides
  • Mod cons
  • Tissue nanotransfection
  • Nibiru
  • Whitepaper
  • Show business
  • GAFA
  • Credit Crunch
  • Gobstopper
  • Mechanosphere
  • Goldilocks zone
  • Non-player character
  • Blue Whale Challenge
  • Plandid
  • Cyberweapon
  • Totality
  • The Gruen transfer
  • Smile to Pay
  • DolphinAttack
  • Secular resonance
  • Take back control
  • Gloomth
  • Fossil water
  • Random forest
  • Super Retina
  • Proactive cooperator
  • Truth and reconciliation
  • Fancy Bear
  • Hard ecu
  • User space
  • Skip Intro
  • Dolly the Sheep
  • Spelunking
  • Oumuamua
  • Ectoplasm
  • Grandfather clock
  • Black Friday
  • Crypto billionaire
  • Inferences per second
  • Influencers
  • Intersectionality
  • Clickbait
  • Genesis block
  • Fuzzy logic
  • Text adventure
  • Cursus
  • Laniakea Supercluster
  • Pantograph
  • Conversation Lozenges
  • Hot-potato routing
  • Blat
  • Raw water
  • Designer salt
  • Speculative execution
  • Wave function
  • The Third Way
  • M77232917
  • Flash mob
  • Virtuality
  • What you see is what you get
  • The Magic Faraway Tree
  • Edgelord
  • Quantum supremacy
  • Onticity
  • Deepfake
  • Metadata
  • Unexpected item in the bagging area
  • The Humanity Star
  • Wuxia
  • Beowulf
  • Remoaner
  • Lord Haw-Haw
  • Johnny Appleseed
  • Goldilocks Zone
  • Veni vidi vici
  • Escort mission
  • General Magic
  • The devil’s hatband
  • Inclusion rider
  • Pick n mix
  • Protein
  • Yak shaving
  • Cold War
  • Gold master
  • Algohol
  • Cry4
  • Novichok agents
  • OAP
  • Cockroach milk
  • Otherkin
  • Nociception
  • The Krebs cycle
  • Gini coefficient
  • Keiretsu
  • Box set
  • Vanguardism
  • i-motif structure
  • Incel
  • The Fourth Estate
  • The Age of Aquarius
  • The Pearl River Delta
  • Gammon
  • Hostile environment
  • The Invisible College
  • Afrofuturism
  • Vaporwave
  • Concorde
  • Laurel and Hardy
  • Two and twenty
  • Abilene paradox
  • Card clash
  • Sub fusc
  • C
  • Nocoiner
  • Operation Popeye
  • Shock and awe
  • Fire and forget
  • Slash and burn
  • Fingers of instantiation
  • Trapdoor function
  • Wear Sunscreen
  • Norwich Pharmacal Order
  • VAR
  • The God Particle
  • Max fac
  • Du-reformen
  • Space Force
  • Flop account
  • Raubwirtschaft
  • Brand loyalty
  • PC LOAD LETTER
  • It’s coming home
  • WASP
  • Long Vac
  • State machine
  • Yellowhammer
  • Monkeypox
  • Skype White
  • Magneto­hydro­dynamics
  • Total cost of ownership
  • The Brandt Line
  • Runaway convention
  • The Goblin
  • IceCube 140611
  • Late Heavy Bombardment
  • Latent space
  • Asgard
  • Hexatic phase
  • Telecommute
  • Chabudua
  • Side hustle
  • The Middle Kingdom
  • Lychgate
  • Mojibake
  • Agitprop
  • Brain drain
  • NaN
  • Damp squib
  • The default mode network
  • Too Many Cooks
  • Dwarsligger
  • 51% Attack
  • Shirts versus skins
  • Imbolc
  • Polar vortex
  • Diffractive deep neural network
  • Bob-a-job
  • Isostatic rebound
  • Doggerland
  • This is for everyone
  • Erskine May
  • Pleuston
  • Momo Challenge
  • Memory hole
  • Andon Cord
  • Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety
  • Operation Redfold
  • First world problem
  • hunter2
  • Landline
  • 2,147,483,647
  • Speaker Denison’s rule
  • Puppyslug
  • The four minute warning
  • Cunningham’s Law
  • Food processor
  • Graphic equaliser
  • Luther Blissett
  • Cattywampus
  • HeH+
  • #FICTIONALEVENT
  • Potlatch
  • Dial tone
  • Cyberspace
  • Digital transformation
  • Genpop
  • Schelling Point
  • Ouroboros
  • Hopepunk
  • The yee haw agenda
  • Stochastic terrorism
  • Hauntology
  • Spontaneous human combustion
  • Fnord
  • Ghost Work
  • Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior
  • Mushroom suit
  • Great Red Spot
  • The Bermuda Triangle
  • Acid rain
  • Packet loss
  • Refillery
  • Landline
  • P-zombie
  • 23114, 584, 46931
  • Teegarden’s Star
  • Everyday carry
  • Whisker fatigue
  • Yeet
  • The klept
  • Dick Whittington
  • Retail therapy
  • Rising of the lights
  • Tohuwabohu
  • Spice zombie
  • Attention Correction
  • Decacorn
  • Blandlands
  • Lysenkoism
  • What, me worry?
  • Ylem
  • Dragonfly
  • Political correctness
  • Dagen H
  • Döstädning
  • Flygskam
  • Frank’s sign
  • Iconoclasm
  • Webmaster
  • Potus
  • Excorporation
  • Horizontal gene transfer
  • Black hole
  • Twinfluencers
  • ASMRtist
  • Overhead projector
  • News theatre
  • Flash Player
  • Techlash
  • Comptometrist
  • Outriders
  • Chesterton’s fence
  • Terraform
  • Ouija board
  • Magic Robot
  • Self-coup
  • Shrinkflation
  • Mods and rockers
  • Bouncy castle
  • Floppy disk
  • Prorogue
  • Upsum
  • Barmy Army
  • Fakeaways
  • Kardashev scale
  • Deadname
  • Red teaming
  • Type B fun
  • Black start
  • Maillard reaction
  • Spice zombie
  • Inbox Zero
  • 77th Brigade
  • Coal
  • Reverie
  • 0th world
  • Lord Protector
  • Legerdemain
  • Bum-sculpting
  • Heavy dog
  • Demographic engineering
  • Kilgore Trout
  • Just a band
  • Penguin diagram
  • Solastalgia
  • Trantor
  • Floating point
  • Total perspective vortex
  • CRISPR
  • Eat the rich
  • Chillax
  • Fiducial marker
  • Free market
  • WYSIWYG
  • Nerd sniping
  • Dopamine fasting
  • Blue screen of death
  • Seenzoned
  • Sand theft
  • Belt and Road Initiative
  • Cosmic ordering
  • Wasm
  • Low poly
  • Generation ship
  • Narrative Violation
  • State Capture
  • Vampire facial
  • Microblading
  • Ansible
  • They
  • Perineum sunning
  • Ethnonationalism
  • John Company
  • Iridium flare
  • Photobombing
  • Decolonisation
  • MMXX
  • Prepper
  • Cancel culture
  • Remainer
  • The Local Group
  • Frankpledge
  • Normcore
  • Factory reset
  • Coronavirus
  • Rawthentic
  • Mesofact
  • Walking wounded
  • Augenmusik
  • Straight edge
  • Dunning
  • Lazy Susan
  • Fruit wall
  • COVID-19
  • Sovereign citizen
  • Dark kitchen
  • 77th Brigade
  • Pandemic
  • Self-isolate
  • Social distancing
  • Trolley problem
  • Hungry gap
  • The jackpot
  • New normal
  • Ecofascism
  • Webinar
  • Hamsterkäufe
  • Doomscrolling
  • Mundane AU
  • The Cool Zone
  • Ave atque vale
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Skin hunger
  • Groutfit
  • Spacepower
  • Roko’s Basilisk
  • Stakhanovite
  • Cancel culture
  • NEOWISE
  • The Chorleywood Bread Process
  • Collab houses
  • Mankad
  • Phosphine
  • Chaos theory
  • Kent Access Permit
  • Carcinisation
  • Capitalist realism
  • K-shaped recovery
  • Dual power
  • Primordial soup
  • The Sea People
  • Abuwtiyuw
  • Sohcahtoa
  • Herobrine
  • Noclip mode
  • The ecumene
  • The 1954 Greada Treaty
  • Isles of Wonder
  • The Odic force
  • Sedition
  • Breakthrough Listen Candidate 1
  • Eugene Goodman
  • Cryptic northern refugia
  • Meatspace
  • Fossil fuel
  • Dress-down Fridays
  • Gwalb
  • The Omega Point

Thanks for your attention and I’m happy to take any questions.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it by email or on social media. Here’s the link. Thanks, —Matt.