Crowdfunding among 2014 new words, definitions in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary

MassLive | By The Republican Newsroom  | June 24, 2014

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SPRINGFIELD — With an exhibit titled "Steampunk Springfield: Re-imagining an Industrial City" ongoing at the Springfield Museums just a couple of blocks from its headquarters, Merriam-Webster Inc. announced Monday that "steampunk" was among more than 150 new words and definitions added to its Collegiate Dictionary in 2014.

The large roles technology and social media are playing in people's lives contributed signficantly to this year's list, with hashta, selfie, social networking and tweep among the additions to the best-selling dictionary in America, according to Merriam-Webster.

Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for Merrian-Webster Inc unveils new words including steampunk at the Springfield Museums on Monday afternoon. The announcement was made at the Steampunk exhibit at the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum. (DAVE ROBACK / THE REPUBLICAN).

Crowdfunding joins big data and gamification, illustrating how technology is being used to understand and motivate behavior. And, according to a Merriam-Webster news release, a similar, if more playful, intersection of technology and human behavior can be seen in steampunk (definition: "science fiction dealing with 19th-century societies dominated by historical or imagined steam-powered technology").

Yoopers make the dictionary

Da "Yoopers" up dere in da U.P., Michigan's Upper Peninsula, hit it big with inclusion of their nickname in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and the company's free online database.

The moniker for native or longtime residents of the Lake Superior region known for a distinctive manner of speaking and its Scandinavian roots was among 150 new words announced by the Springfield company.

The update of the Collegiate's 11th edition has pleased Yooper Steve Parks, the prosecutor in Delta County, Michigan, who pushed for more than a decade to have the word recognized by Merriam-Webster. He and others splashed their joy online when news of the higher profile spread back in March.

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And more new words:

catfish (not the fish but the person who takes on a false online identity, a la the phantom girlfriend of football pro Manti Te'o)
poutine: a French Canadian snack or side dish of french fries covered with brown gravy and cheese curds
unfriend, which joins defriend
hot spot, a place where Wi-Fi is available.
big data
baby bump
digital divide
gamification: the process of adding gamelike elements to something to encourage participation.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada crowdfunding hub providing education, advocacy and networking opportunities in the rapidly evolving crowdfunding industry. NCFA Canada is a community-based, membership-driven entity that was formed at the grass roots level to fill a national need in the market place. Join our growing network of industry stakeholders, fundraisers and investors. Increase your organization’s profile and gain access to a dynamic group of industry front runners. Learn more About Us or contact us at