iceberg home

(名詞) 冰山住宅;冰山屋 - 地平面只有一小部分的結構體,主要設施都建在地下的住宅或房屋 (如泳池、車庫、酒窖、更衣室等都建在地下)。亦叫做 iceberg houseiceberg basement

The new property, dubbed an “iceberg home” because so much of the development is underground, will house a 65ft swimming pool, bar, hammam or Turkish bath, games room, gym, massage room and hot pool.
—Jamie Grierson, “London bubble-bath tycoon gets go-ahead for huge ‘iceberg’ basement,” The Guardian, March 21, 2016

Mr. Graham already infuriated neighbours five years ago with plans to dig four storeys below his mansion in Knightsbridge to build a swimming pool, a three-car garage, a gym, a ballroom, changing rooms, a hot tub, wine cellars, an art storage room and servants’ quarters. His subterranean escapade became a hot topic in London and shed light on the growing trend among the superrich for “iceberg homes,” named because most of the house is below ground.
—Paul Waldie, “Canadian businessman David Graham’s home expansion enrages London neighbours,” The Globe and Mail, February 9, 2017



(名詞) 用來使手術過程中醒來的病患安靜或分心的安慰話語。這個字是由 verbal (言辭上的;口頭的) + -caine (anaesthetic 麻醉劑) 拼綴而成。

Many patients are anxious about anticipated procedural pain. Supportive verbal communication, including distraction and so-called “vocal local” or “verbicaine”, can play a role in reducing anxiety and pain.
—“Early Abortion Training Workbook,” UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, July 12, 2016

Verbicaine. Spoken anesthesia, as in talking a patient through a rough patch of surgery when they are awake.
—Darrell White, “Sunday 170212” (comment), CrossFit, February 12, 2017



(名詞) 演算法 (algorithm) 統治或演算法政府 (使用軟體程式來做決策或治理國家的政府)。亦寫成 algo-cracy。這個字是由 algorithm + -cracy 拼綴而成。
-algocratic (adj.):演算法統治的;演算法政府的。

As the entities dictating how computers make such “smart” decisions, algorithms are fueling this, and more than a few writers have coined clever ways to describe contemporary society’s reliance on them: algocracy, algorithmic culture, new theology, idols and/or gods.
—Francis Sanzaro, “Religion and Algorithms: The Showdown of the Century,” The Huffington Post, June 2, 2016

In the ‘Threat of Algocracy’ I used ideas and arguments drawn from political philosophy to assess the social and political impact of algorithmic governance. I defined algorithmic governance — or as I prefer ‘algocracy’ — as the use of data-mining, predictive and descriptive analytics to constrain and control human behaviour. I then argued that the increased prevalence of algocratic systems posed a threat to the legitimacy of governance.
—John Danaher, “Algocracy as Hypernudging: A New Way to Understand the Threat of Algocracy,” Philosophical Disquisitions, January 11, 2017


rug-rat race

(名詞) 學童的激烈競爭 - 小孩從小受到強大壓力,被要求學業名列前茅,以為將來進入菁英大學預作準備。亦寫成 rug rat racerugrat race。這個名詞是由 rug rat + rat race 拼綴而成。rug ratrat race 都是俚語,前者意為「小孩,兒童,幼兒」,後者意為「(商界) 激烈的競爭」。

The analysis raises questions about the extent to which inadvertent engineering—starting with the so-called “rug-rat race”—is exacerbating the achievement gap.
—Alia Wong, “How to Solve the Diversity Problem at NYC’s Elite Public Schools,” The Atlantic, March 5, 2015

This striving is necessarily, and worryingly, inegalitarian. Parental investment in children’s education is an arms race in which poorer families cannot hope to keep pace. Richer, better-educated families can call on many more assets in helping struggling students or providing enriching résumé-building material. The more the rug-rat race leads parents to withdraw their children from public-school systems, the worse this trend becomes.
—Ryan Avent, “High-Pressure Parenting,” 1843, February 6, 2017



(名詞) 惡作劇廣告 - 以惡作劇或惡搞方式來推銷產品的行銷手法。亦寫成 prank-vertising。這個字是由 prank (惡作劇) + advertising (廣告) 拼綴而成。
-prankvertise (v.):做惡作劇廣告;prankvertiser (n.):惡作劇廣告商;prankvertisement (n.):惡作劇廣告。

Costs are relatively low and the chances of going viral high with ‘prankvertising,’ says CBC Ad Guy.
—Bruce Chambers, “Advertisers use pranks to shock, amuse and sell products,” CBC News, March 16, 2016

A cabbie takes two supposedly unsuspecting riders on a stunt-filled journey of terror. …In reality, of course, this is nothing more than prankvertising.
—“Oh goodie, another hilarious example of prankvertising,” Campaign, January 6, 2017


resistance fatigue

(名詞) 抵抗疲乏 - 不斷抗議政府不得民心的政策所造成的心力交瘁。

The bottom line is, our national and worldwide safety lies in the Electors actually doing the job they were chosen to perform. We cannot let resistance fatigue set in, not now, when we still have a few precious days left to make our voices heard. We must speak loudly and clearly, with passion and purpose.
—Roger Wolfson, “The Electors’ Responses, And Why We Must Expect Better,” The Huffington Post, December 6, 2016

I see a few key patterns here. First, the decision to first block, and then allow, green card holders was meant to create chaos and pull out opposition; they never intended to hold it for too long. It wouldn’t surprise me if the goal is to create “resistance fatigue,” to get Americans to the point where they’re more likely to say “Oh, another protest? Don’t you guys ever stop?” relatively quickly.
—Yonatan Zunger, “Trial Balloon for a Coup?,” Medium, January 30, 2017



(名詞) 認知能力沒什麼衰退的老年人。亦寫成 SuperAger, super-agersuper ager

Don’t we all want to be superagers? These are the folks identified in studies as having exceptionally sharp memories in their 80s and 90s. Researchers are looking at them, trying to figure out what makes them retain bigger brain size, with accompanying attention and thinking abilities greater than most other people their age.
—Carolyn Rosenblatt, “What Makes A ‘SuperAger’?,” Forbes, February 21, 2015

Our lab used functional magnetic resonance imaging to scan and compare the brains of 17 superagers with those of other people of similar age. We succeeded in identifying a set of brain regions that distinguished the two groups. These regions were thinner for regular agers, a result of age-related atrophy, but in superagers they were indistinguishable from those of young adults, seemingly untouched by the ravages of time.
—Lisa Feldman Barrett, “How to Become a ‘Superager’,” The New York Times, December 31, 2016



(名詞) 餘香繞樑;餘臭繞樑。這個字是仿效 earworm (餘音繞樑) 所創造的。

A true noseworm, if it exists, would be something different. It’s possible that when you get a whiff of something weird, such as castoreum (a secretion from beaver butts), a snapshot of the odor sticks with you. That might be because the fragrance has clung to your shirt or your nose hairs, Gilbert says, or it could be a kind of “mental resonation” that “sticks in your nose, and you keep smelling it throughout the day.”
—Daniel Engber, “Can You Get a Smell Stuck In Your Head?,” Popular Science, July 8, 2015

Walking away after a morning episode comparing almond, walnut, peach, apricot, cherry, and prune, I find that the whole room smells like prune. I step outside with Finnegan; a wind wrests the screen door from my grip. His nose rises to attention at the passing air. I smell … prune. I have been afflicted with a prune noseworm.
—Alexandra Horowitz, Being a Dog, Simon and Schuster, October 4, 2016



(名詞) 熱愛、收藏或買賣運動鞋的人。亦寫成 sneaker head

Not surprisingly, sneaker culture is far from inclusive of women who get down with the hype and love their kicks. Yet female sneakerheads — women who seriously love and collect sneakers — are a large and passionate base.
—Justin Block, “Why Aren’t Companies More Worried About Female Sneakerheads?,” The Huffington Post, July 14, 2015

Ghanaian funerals are a big deal. And rather than simply mourn the dead, attendees prefer to celebrate them, too. One way they do it is with wildly creative custom caskets. Artisans there will make caskets in the shape of pretty much anything you like — Coke bottles, race cars, etc. And for sneakerheads, even a favorite sneaker.
—Scott Christian, “Real Sneakerheads Get Buried in Custom Nike-Shaped Caskets,” Esquire, December 5, 2016


Norman door

(名詞) 設計上讓人搞不清楚推是開還是拉是開的門。

The “Norman door” dilemma can be seen in the design of many other everyday items, and even more so in the design of software and website interactions.
—Brent Manke, “Norman doors and designing for humans,” Brent Manke, October 23, 2015

A so-called “Norman Door” has design elements that give you the wrong usability signals to the point that special signage is needed to clarify how they work. Without signs, a user is left guessing about whether to push or pull, creating needless frustration.
—“Norman Doors: Don’t Know Whether to Push or Pull? Blame Design,” 99% Invisible, February 26, 2016