All posts under ‘SNP’s word of the day’


SNP’s word of the day: Palimpsest

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Illustraton by Lewis Mirrett

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Word: Palimpsest

Usage: “All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.” — George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

Definition: A piece of paper, parchment, canvas or other manuscript that has been erased and overwritten, often still bearing traces of the original. From Ancient Greek for “scraped again.”
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SNP’s word of the day: Chinook

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Illustration by Lewis Mirrett

Word: Chinook

Usage: “Pa, is the Chinook blowing?” – Laura Ingalls, Little House on the Prairie

Definition: A tribe of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest; a warm, wet wind, springing from the same region, named after said people.
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SNP’s word of the day: Prestidigitation

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Illustration by Lewis Mirrett

Word: Prestidigitation

Usage: “I.B.M. scientists have received Nobel Prizes, performed molecular prestidigitation and won chess and ‘Jeopardy!’ games with pioneering examples of artificial intelligence.” – Edward Rothstein in his article “Data as Art, as Science, as a Reason for Being” in the New York Times

Definition: Sleight of hand, trickery employed by fingers; in French, legerdemain.
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SNP’s word of the day: FROW

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Illustration by Lewis Mirrett

Word: FROW

Usage: “We’ve been hot on the heels of one Miss Perry as she’s dashed from FROW to FROW and now she’s popped up at Chanel working ladylike chic with her ice-cool coiff.” – The ever-dry Grazia Daily

Definition: In fashionland, FROW is an abbreviation of “Front Row,” which is obviously just one too many syllables.
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SNP’s word of the day: Fartist

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Illustration by Lewis Mirrett

Word: Fartist

Usage: “Artist or Fartist?” – @BruceLaBruce

Definition: An artist who emits work that stinks. (I feel gross.)
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SNP’s word of the day: Liketivism

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Illustration by Lewis Mirrett

Word: Liketivism

Usage: “30 million views and counting? All in a day’s liketivism.” – me

Meaning: A less-hot version of “clicktivism,” which is the practice of promoting causes through social media.

You should know it because: Did you watch the Kony 2012 video this week? Read more »


SNP’s word of the day: Élan vital

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Illustration by Lewis Mirrett

Word: Élan vital

Meaning: Vital impetus, or the current of evolution.

Usage: “When I was just last in New York, I went for a walk, leaving Fifth Avenue and the Business section behind me, into the crowded streets near the Bowery. And while I was there, I had a sudden feeling of relief and confidence. There was Bergson’s élan vital—there was assimilation causing life to exert as much pressure, though embodied here in the shape of men, as it has ever done in the earliest year of evolution: there was the driving force of progress.”

You should know it because: C’est Paris Fashion Week, the one week each half-year when it’s okay to speak Franglais. It’s also the time in which, even from waaayyyy far away, you ponder the impossibility of so many extraordinarily attired, super-attenuated creatures flocking to one place. Time to brush up on creative-evolutionary theory, by which I mean, Wikipedia Henri Bergson. His theory of “élan vital,”—sort of like a macrocosmic take on Freud’s idea of “life instincts”—explains why things develop in an increasingly complex manner. He thought people could self-evolve; that through the forces of creativity, which he equated with life itself, some people could literally be more alive than others. I don’t know about that, but maybe it explains why fashion people can survive for four weeks without once eating solid food?


SNP’s word of the day: Trollgaze

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Illustration by Lewis Mirrett

Word: Trollgaze

Meaning: A “genre” of music defined by its Tumblr success, Twitter divisiveness, and total inability to exist outside of the internet. Coined by Maura Johnson at The Village Voice

Usage: “A trollgaze track is utterly web-native: It’s not built to exist in a record shop, a TV channel, a collection, or even an mp3 playlist. Its natural habitat is the stream— that ceaseless flow of information we access every time we use social media. Trollgaze is something you see sandwiched between other status updates, tweets, or posts, fighting for attention with every other picture, stray thought, polemic, or advert. Its button-pushing crassness and ambiguous motives make it an evolutionary nightmare: music perfectly adapted for life in the stream.” Tom Ewing on Pitchfork, December 2011
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