If you are struggling to find a unique gift for the intellectual in your life, especially one who has everything (and still has a sense of humor), or for a scrabble-playing loved one, or for anyone with an appreciation of the obscure, I highly recommend the paperback book "WORDS YOU DON'T KNOW," by Robin Bloor.
ALIEN SEX PILLS....Author Bloor actually researched my longest-running post for the "Most cosmic Web Site" for my blog, when I was writing it for Progress Software Corporation. Bloor had me laughing so hard at his written summary of his "most cosmic web site" research that I suggested he start his own blog, which he did. He used it to provide a fun-to-read summary of emerging and morphing technologies, but always concluded with a "Surfin' Safari" entry, an early introduction to how Search Engine Optimization might work. The first was a re-write of what he submitted to me...."Alien Sex Pills."
Known in the High Tech industry for his quick wit and as one who doesn't just write about things, but actually does them (i.e. programming languages, web design, open source technologies, etc.), Robin Bloor has taken time from his market research to collect a book of "WORDS YOU DON'T KNOW."
One of my favorites is "Hippopotomonstrosesquippediliophobia" [whew...I THINK I copied that correctly]. Bloor explains, "This word is blatantly intimidating and was almost certainly invented by a sadistic psychiatrist. At 36 letters, it's longer than any of the words mentioned [in the chapter of 'Very Long Words'] and it means (I almost can't believe it) the fear of long words. Only a sadistic psychiatrist would concoct such a word to describe the fear of such long words. I mean how is that preferable to longwordaphobia?"
But imagine pulling this off in Scrabble, although I don't think the board is large enough.
After leaving Progress, I finally retired the "most cosmic web site" to YouTube. I devoted myself to being a communications analyst and YouTube futurist, and dedicated my blog to emerging communication trends on and/or leveraging YouTube. I told Robin I needed a YouTube video that was relevant to his book. The prescient Mr. Bloor had already created a YouTube video to promote his book. Of course, the expat Brit used it to poke fun at the French language. You can take the boy out of Britain, but you can't take Britain out of the Boy.
To find out what others have to say about Bloor's new book, check out the author's summary and equally entertaining comments by other readers on Amazon.com .
PS: to whet your appetite, your might enjoy Robin's initial blog entry of "10 IT words you don't know" that inspired the book. I feel compelled to cite a few of my favorite excerpts.
"Cyberchondria: This is another surfing term,
referring to hypochondria caused by surfing to medical sites that give
descriptions of the symptoms of given illnesses. If you’re a doctor and
one of your patients insists that he or she is suffering from pneumonic
plague or blackwater fever, in all probability they are only suffering
Friendorphobia: A cyberchondriac might well suffer from friendorphobia, but not necessarily as a result of cyberchondria. I think most of us suffer from friendorphobia nowadays. Friendorphobia is the fear of forgetting a password. By the way, I am not making this up – there is such a word."
Since Robin published this blog entry, I heard NPR do their annual summary of new words added to the defacto American dictionary. One was "sexting." But, my mind was jogged by Robin's second word, and I wondered if anyone has recognized the new now-commonly-used verb "friend"....as in "friend me."