Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Humble Sharrow Gains Admittance to the Dictionary

Tip your cap to the sharrows on 15th
Street when you see them next.
We would like to congratulate the humble sharrow for being added to the 5th edition of the American Heritage Dictionary. This street marking's life is a difficult one, entreating drivers to share the road with bicyclists and encouraging bicyclists to take the center of the lane. Without lungs, moving appendages, or the budget for a street team, the sharrow must reach hearts and minds solely through white paint.

From the press release from the American Heritage Dictionary:
The editors at the American Heritage Dictionary today announced additions and revisions to the 5th edition of the American Heritage Dictionary. Both the website ahdictionary.com and the iPhone and Android apps include this new material.

What’s new in 2012? 
Hundreds of new words and senses have been added. Here’s a few:

New and delicious foods:
  • korma: A dish of South Asian origin in which meat or vegetables are braised or simmered in a rich, highly seasoned sauce thickened with ground nuts, yogurt or cream, and sometimes coconut.
  • sriracha: A spicy condiment made with red chilies, vinegar, garlic, salt, and sugar.
Cultural novelties:
  • hacktivist: A person who uses computer hacking as a means of social reform or protest.
  • retcon: (noun) The depiction of fictional events, as in a television series or comic book, that entail a revision of the narrative presented in an earlier installment. (verb) To modify (a fictional character, for example) in this manner.
  • sharrow: A representation of a bicycle with two chevrons above it, marked on a roadway as a symbol to indicate that motor vehicles and bicycles are to share the lane.
We object to the characterization of a sharrow as a cultural novelty on par with retcons. But who are we to argue semantics with a dictionary press release? Anyhow, with this news I proudly right-click and add sharrow to my web browser's spell checker. Welcome to the big time, sharrow.