Most avid news readers can recall words that have been made up by the media to support a thesis (dudeitor, anyone?), but what about those real words that are used, abused and even occasionally misused? It certainly does seem that various words go in and out of fashion with journalists, no matter their platform of choice. These are buzzwords, or “words that do not typically occur in everyday speech, but are common among newscasters, talking heads, and pundits on cable news,” and there’s a new site dedicated to chronicling their use and misuse across the media landscape. It’s called Newswordy, a blog designed by Canadian graphic designer and writer named Josh Smith.
Newswordy features a buzzword a day, coupled with a definition and links to articles where that word was used, as well as news and Twitter feeds referencing the word. A recent example is the term “coddling,” furiously employed after Warren Buffet’s widely-debated New York Times op-ed. Another is “opportunistic,” which appeared frequently in reference to the rioters in the U.K.
Not only is Newswordy a great vocabulary tool for young journalists-in-training, it also serves to shed a critical eye on the ways in which journalists are careful–and of course, reckless–with language. “These ‘news words’ are accepted by audiences for their implied meaning,” writes Smith on the site. “But often loaded words are misused or used out of context. The actual definitions can be different than what is implied.”
You can check out the whole list of Newswordy words here.