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October 06, 2005

What's the Word I'm Looking For 2: Electric Boogaloo

Last week I linked to The Independent's profile of an upcoming book on 'words for which there is no equivalent in the English language.' The BBC covered it too, and had their viewers write in with favorite examples, the more interesting of which they revealed here.

The viewers cheat a little - some of them aren't words, more like phrases that encapsulate something so handy we should have them too - but they're all pretty interesting.

I particularly like that the Japanese refer to the balding man's combover as a 'bar code.'

Also nice, though I'd hear it before: 'l'esprit d'escalier', or spirit of the staircase. This is used to describe the precise moment a person comes up with a clever retort to an embarrassing insult. It is usually after leaving the party, and walking down the stairs that the quip comes to mind."

(via Kottke)


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posted by Dr. Reo Symes at 08:31 PM

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