NTMP #29: Zoot Sploot Riot
Please scream inside your heart nard
New-to-me Phrases, August 21, 2022
The Phrases, With Context
Hello there, and thanks for reading! If you’re new here and wondering what this is all about, you can read the NTMP origin story. If you came from the web or the Substack app, you can also subscribe to receive a list of random words and phrases in your inbox each week:
This week, we have scammers galore, I invented a beautiful and apt new word, and squirrels get another well-deserved mention. Let’s dig in:
Filed under “here’s another way in which people suck,” this word is a mashup of “SMS” and “phishing,” where scammers text you posing as a colleague or boss in an attempt to get money or personal info. Read more at Morning Brew.
This was me mis-typing touchpoints and marveling at how I’d never noticed this word within that word, especially given the number of ouchpoints inhabiting my middle aged meatsack.
Last week my longtime friend and colleague Kelly Hambly and I gave a virtual talk about copywriting and storytelling at the Fort Collins Internet Pros meetup. It was great fun with a welcoming host and attendees.
During this event I learned that the next FCIP meetup features a talk about “Deploying Cloud-Native Applications with Kubernetes.”
I mean, I get that that sentence is a collection of words, but they make zero sense to me, a mere mortal.
But “Kubernetes” is fun to say!
If you want to learn more, I guess you’ll have to attend the event.
4. Splooting season
My pal Lindsay sent me a link to this Guardian piece on this odd squirrel behavior and its etymology. I’d heard of “splooting” but really liked “splooting season.” Besides, there’s some cool animal behavior info at the link. I’d always wondered why squirrels splooted, but I guess I never bothered to Google it.
See also: Squoaf, coined by one of my kids, who does not read this newsletter.
Related: Rats really lost the rodent tail lottery, didn’t they?
5. Heart nard
This one comes from season two of the superbly irreverent and profound coming-of-age series Reservation Dogs, about a group of Indigenous teens living in rural Oklahoma.
I know I promise to share context behind the phrases here, but the way this one comes up is very “you had to be there,” artfully shared by the “unknown warrior.” I think I’d ruin the scene if I tried describing it, so you’ll have to watch the show to find this one. Report back when you spot it.
6. Corporate death penalty
After years of fucking around with our democratic and social norms, it appears this might be the season of Trump and his enablers finding out. Hope is the thing with feathers, yada, but I won’t hold my breath.
According to Business Insider, as part of the ongoing investigation into the Trump Organization, New York Attorney General Letitia James may seek to dissolve it under the state’s so-called “corporate death penalty” law,
“a law that allows the AG to seek to dissolve businesses that operate ‘in a persistently fraudulent or illegal manner.’”
I saw this in the subject line of a NYT newsletter, The Interpreter and had to look it up. I love that the Wikipedia entry opens with:
Not to be confused with Climate change denial.
Apparently cli-fi, or climate fiction, is a growing genre exploring climate change. While the term is relatively new, the genre isn’t. Here’s a deeper dive from the BBC into this subgenre of apocalyptic fiction.
8. #sponcon weddings
The only word I wanted to write for this phrase was “gross.” But I’ve already denied you context once this week, so here’s the deal. Town and Country did a feature on this trend, where influencers with a certain amount of reach are adding sponsors to their nuptials. Not only is this paying off in swag and other freebies for happy couples and their guests, but in “media impact value” for the sponsors.
9. The Millennial Pause
Not only is this a new-to-me phrase, it’s also a handy descriptor for a fascinating cultural phenomenon. Coined in 2021 by “TikToker” @nisipisa, who observed Taylor Swift doing the pause, The Latch explains that Millennials grew up with phones that took a few seconds to record a video, so they tend to briefly pause out of habit before speaking when making a Reel or TikTok. In contrast, Gen Z doesn’t do this, because they trust their phones to work right away. (There’s no mention of what Gen X does because we are the forgotten gen. Also, I deeply dislike the word “TikToker.”)
The Atlantic covered this, too and I hate to be that person, but I haven’t read it yet because I ran out of free articles.
That’s it for this week! Thanks for reading, and do your best to stay curious and remain furious.