return trip effect

(名詞) 回程效應:認為回程所花的時間比最初的行程短的錯覺 (即使去程和回程的距離及所花的時間完全一樣)。

What causes this so-called "return trip effect"? You might guess that it has something to do with knowing the route — on the way back, you see landmarks that help you better gauge when you're close to your destination. Well, you'd be wrong! According to this study, the return trip effect (which makes the return trip seem 17-22% shorter on average!) is seen even when people take different routes on the outward and return trips.
—"Flashback Friday: Why the return trip always seems shorter," Discover, July 4, 2014

In past years, researchers have suggested that it has to do with the way our bodies experience and measure time as it passes, or the way we remember the trips we take after the fact, or perhaps a bit of both. On Wednesday, a team in Japan released a new report in the journal PLOS ONE detailing the latest effort to solve the mystery. This group's take? That the return trip effect is created by travelers' memories of their journeys — and those memories alone.
—Eryn Brown, "The trip back home often seems to go by faster — but why?," Los Angeles Times, June 10, 2015



(名詞) 美食物理學,烹飪物理學:將物理理論和實驗方法應用於食物、烹飪和飲食的學問。亦寫成 gastro-physics。這個字是由 gastronomy (美食學,烹飪法) 和 physics (物理學) 拼綴而成。
gastrophysicist (名詞):美食物理學家,烹飪物理學家。

Until recently, McGee said, scientific focus on cooking was always on safety, hygiene, and industrial manufacturing (such as how to can clams so they don't spoil).

Today, the study of gastrophysics draws from psychology, culture, food structuring, and quantum chemistry, among other disciplines.
—Valerie Vande Panne, "Forks, knives, beakers," Harvard Gazette, September 10, 2013

Spence and his peers have, through a line of scientific inquiry that is informally referred to as gastrophysics, studied in minute detail how we experience food and drink. Who we eat with; how food is arranged and described; the colour, texture and weight of plates and cutlery; background noise — all these things affect taste.
—Amy Fleming, "Charles Spence: The food scientist changing the way we eat," The Guardian (London), September 24, 2014



(動詞) 預付 (尤指為支付未來的費用而預先付款)。亦寫成 pre-imburse。這個字是由 pre- + imburse 拼綴而成 (cf. reimburse)。

Obviously I'd reimburse (or preimburse) you for the cost of the poster that comes with it, plus tip.
—Foal Papers, "Obviously I'd…," Twitter, June 7, 2014

I'm pretty sure that the Fair Tax proposal includes monthly pre-bates that would pre-imburse lower income people for the sales tax they would pay on necessities like food and housing.
—David Lima, "Bill Gates' Solution To Income Inequality" (reply), WeAreSC, October 31, 2014



(名詞) 酷愛道路的人,包括對道路圖 (road map)、道路建設、道路歷史和道路旅行的熱愛。亦寫成 road-geekroad geek

If you'd consider basically any road travel enthusiast to be a roadgeek, then it'd basically be all truckers. If you'd only consider someone who actively keeps up with construction projects (other than in areas where they're headed), keeps up to date on signage oddity/old sign sightings and actively searches for them, and sometimes goes out of the way to drive an old alignment/clinch a highway, then it's likely very few.
—Molandfreak, "Re: What Percentage of Truckers Are Roadgeeks," AARoads Forum, October 10, 2014

However roadgeeks are not necessarily interested in motor vehicles; there may also be an interest in cartography and map design. Enthusiasts may focus on a single activity related to roads, such as driving the full length of the highway system in a specific area, researching the history, planning and quirks of a particular road or national highway system. They are occasionally quoted in the press on topics related to the history of roads. Sometimes, road geeks are called "highway historians" for the knowledge and interests.
—"Roadgeeks," The Dabbler, June 6, 2015


gateway vegetable

(名詞) 入門蔬菜 - 一種美味可口的蔬菜,長期食用會激勵食用者更大膽地吃其他蔬菜。cf. gateway drug (入門毒品)。

Healthy eating and weight loss requires vegetables. There's no way around it. Some of us would rather fill our plates with meat and bread. If you discover a "gateway vegetable" you'll start eating them more often.
—Dave Greenbaum, "Discover Your 'Gateway Vegetable' To Start Eating Healthier," Lifehacker Australia, October 12, 2014

We call pea shoots the "gateway vegetable," because when we grow them in the classroom, children just eat them by the fistful until green juice is running down their faces.
—Emily Armstrong, "Harvest of the Month: Pea shoots," Martha's Vineyard Times, February 23, 2015


nail house

(名詞) 釘子戶 (拒絕拆遷戶或拒絕搬遷戶)。亦叫做 nail household。釘子戶原為中國大陸使用的詞彙。

The vacant lot is directly across from Edith Macefield's house: a nail house that was formed by developers building the current Blocks at Ballard Complex around the house after Mrs. Macefield refused to sell.
—Shane Harms, "Rezone of Blocks at Ballard II site on the 'table'," Ballard News-Tribune, November 10, 2014

Sometimes, Chinese homeowners refuse to cash in, either because an offer is too low or for more principled reasons, and their property remains standing while the new project shoots up around it. Dingzihu, or "nail houses," as these won't-budge properties are called, have become symbols over the past several years of brave defiance of the powerful wealth that's driving new development.
—Laura Bliss, "Chinese 'Nail Houses' Won't Budge for New Development," City Lab, April 13, 2015


▲ 2007 年重慶楊家坪拆遷事件中,被中國媒體稱為「史上最牛釘子戶」的房子。(圖文取材自維基百科)



(動詞) 改寫或修改著作使其更適合或更吸引年輕的成人觀眾。亦寫成 YAify。這個字是由 YA ("young adult",年輕的成年人) + -ify 拼綴而成。
YA-ification (名詞)

But that hasn't stopped the filmmakers from trying to YA-ify The Giver, and the result is something that trades in a lot of what made Lowry's work a contemporary classic for generic dystopian details.
—Alison Willmore, "4 Ways 'The Giver' Turns A Beloved Novel Into Just Another Dystopian Teen Movie," BuzzFeed, August 15, 2014

It wouldn't be the end of the world but does everything need to be YAified?
—Mitch Brook, "It wouldn't…," Twitter, June 1, 2015



(名詞) 候中學:在等候別的事情完成的時候 (如等候電梯的時候) 所做的學習。本中文翻譯的靈感來自杜威的「做中學」(learning by doing)。

In the future, CSAIL researchers plan to explore opportunities to create technologies for other wait-learning situations, such as Wi-Fi seeking, email loading, and even elevator waiting.
—Adam Conner-Simons, "'WaitChatter' app teaches vocabulary during moments in between texts,", May 15, 2015

They surmised that instant messaging provided an excellent application to test whether a program could enable wait-learning for language vocabulary. Often while chatting, conversations feels asynchronous; the person who just sent a message waits for a reply.
—Will Thalheimer, "Wait-Learning: Learning During Normally Wasted Time," Subscription Learning, May 15, 2015


paint oneself into a corner



  • Don't volunteer to do more work in the office or you'll paint yourself into a corner. (在辦公室別自願做較多的工作,否則你會讓自己陷入困境)
  • They've painted themselves into a corner by promising to announce the results of their investigation. (他們因答應公布調查結果而讓自己陷入困境)



(名詞) 書寫錯誤。cf. typo (打字錯誤)。

Before the time of keyboards/keypunches, were spelling errors referred to as “Writos?”
—ShowerThoughts, "Before the time…," Twitter, October 30, 2013

I think there is a 'writo' on line 7: I'm sure you'll agree that "X(n) log n" should read "X(n/(p-1)) log n" ?
—Johan Nobel, "Vimeo's Staff Pick algorithm finally revealed!" (comment), Vimeo, April 1, 2015