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Oct 8, 2018
This week’s theme
Blend words

This week’s words
anecdata
workfare
backronym
lunk
herstory

anecdata
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

One of the most succinct ways to describe a book or film is using two other well-known stories. For example, The Lion King is Hamlet meets Bambi. (See more here).

Similarly, a fine way to coin a word is to blend two existing words. That’s what we are going to do this week: take two words, bring them really close to each other, let them fuse into each other, and see what new word is born from this experiment.

What blend words have you come up with? Share below or email us at words@wordsmith.org. Don't forget to google your new baby first: chances are someone has already given birth to it.

anecdata

PRONUNCIATION:
(an-ik-DAY-tuh)

MEANING:
noun: Anecdotal information gleaned from casual observation.

Example: My uncle has been smoking for 20 years and hasn’t been diagnosed with cancer yet; that shows that cigarettes are safe.

ETYMOLOGY:
A blend of anecdotal + data. From Greek anekdota (things unpublished), from an- (not) + ekdidonai (to publish), originally applied by the Greek historian Procopius to his unpublished memoirs of the Emperor Justinian and his consort Theodora. Earliest documented use: 1980s. A related term is cherry-picking. Also see anecdotage.

USAGE:
“Metcalf notes the same general pattern, though he gives no anecdata to support his contention.”
Kory Stamper; Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries; Pantheon; 2017.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
When Alexander the Great visited Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for the famed teacher, Diogenes replied: "Only stand out of my light." Perhaps some day we shall know how to heighten creativity. Until then, one of the best things we can do for creative men and women is to stand out of their light. -John W. Gardner, author and educator (8 Oct 1912-2002)

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