The intrusion upon a person’s attention by unwanted and unauthorized text, sounds, or images.
—attention thief n.
You cannot choose what you notice at the moment. But you can alter your habits. Much more is now known about the importance of adaptive learning. The more that those habits involve fascination with some aspects of the world instead of entertainment by tuning out, the less empty overconsumption or casual attention theft
you may suffer. Sensibilities to surroundings don’t involve just roses, but also rooms, streets, and neighborhoods.
—Malcolm McCullough, “On attention to surroundings
, December 15, 2012
A trivial frustration or petty concern, particularly one that contrasts sharply with serious problems such as those faced by developing nations.
Dear Wined Out: First, let me thank you for outlining the very essence of the phrase “first-world problem
“ in this space.
—Amy Dickinson, “Pre-party makes guests less charitable
,” Chicago Tribune
, September 13, 2013
A raised metal strip added to the edge of a bench or low wall as a skateboarding deterrent. Also: pig’s ear.
San Francisco, the birthplace of street skateboarding, was also the first city to design solutions such as “pig’s ears
” — metal flanges added to the corner edges of pavements and low walls to deter skateboarders.
—Frank Swain, “Secret city design tricks manipulate your behaviour
, December 2, 2013
To ride along, usually while on a skateboard or while wearing roller skates or inline skates, with a moving vehicle by holding on to the bumper or other handhold. [skate + hitch]
According to the police statement, Exton and four friends, three aged 18 and one 16, were at the Monster Skate Park at Sydney Olympic Park about 10pm when they decided to “skitch
” — get a tow from a vehicle — along Grande Pde.
—Brenton Cherry, “Northern beaches teens plead guilty after ‘skitching’ accident
,” Daily Telegraph
, June 30, 2012
Meat grown in vitro from a tissue culture. Also: schmeat. [sheet + meat]
Chances are you will have seen or read about science’s latest ground-breaking effort: producing meat in a test tube. It got its first showing last week in the form of a hamburger pattie. Shmeat
, they call it, and the taste testers gave it a resounding thumbs down.
Shmeat means “a sheet of meat” but I suspect you could make a case for another definition, going by the taste test.
—Ed Gannon, “Shmeat argument is very hard to swallow,” Herald Sun, August 16, 2013
While in a car in a crowded parking lot, waiting for, and possibly following, a person who is going to exit the lot and thus free up a parking spot.
By the same token, don’t hover around waiting for shoppers heading to their cars. There’s a term for this: perching
—Angel Streeter, “South Florida parking specialists offer holiday parking tips
, November 21, 2012
The hijacking of a drone, either by physically capturing the device or by compromising its navigation system. Also: drone-jacking.
I’m concerned about physical hijacking (dronejacking
—jobigoud, “Delivery by drone in Sydney” (comment
, October 14, 2013
A legal or voluntary obligation assumed by the owner of a work in exchange for having the work protected by copyright.
Hyde embraces the concept of “copyduty” along with copyright. A copyduty is an obligation voluntarily owed by an author or artist to the public or some segment thereof which may serve as an offset to that author or artist’s copyright.
—Fred Brandfon, “Art and ownership: on Lewis Hyde’s Common as Air; Book review,” The American Poetry Review, March 1, 2011
Graffiti created by strategically removing dust, dirt, or other grime from a surface to create an image or message.
Also in the show are the American artist Jim Dingilian’s smoke landscapes in a bottle, which have the elusive look of memories, and the Brazilian artist Alexandre Orion’s video of his “reverse” graffiti
, carved into the soot-saturated walls of São Paolo traffic tunnels.
—Alix Browne, “The Other Ash Can School
,” The New York Times
, February 7, 2012
To release a dangerous or helpless mentally ill person from a hospital because there are no private or public psychiatric beds available.
A 2010 report found that 200 individuals in Virginia who were psychotic and either dangerous or incapable of caring for themselves were “streeted
” — slang coined by emergency room doctors for when hospitals knowingly put a psychotic patient on the sidewalk.
—Pete Earley, “Deeds attack shows that our system is a mess: Column
,” USA Today
, November 21, 2013
The placement of schools away from the communities they serve, especially beyond walking distance of those communities.
has been part of the pattern, too, with large campuses placed at a distance from most students and their families. Check out the locations of three Loudoun County schools on the satellite map above: they have all been placed on former farmland just beyond the reach of sprawling new subdivisions.
—Kaid Benfield, “How Sprawl Makes Fighting Childhood Obesity So Much Harder
,” The Atlantic Cities
, July 25, 2013
A woman without children who dotes on her nieces and nephews. [From the phrase professional aunt no kids.]
Breaking acronym alert! The world’s sociologists have been at it again. All hail the pank
, or “professional aunt, no kids”, a species defined by the spoiling, confidence-sharing and general nurturing of other people’s nippers.
—Hannah Betts, “Why this devoted ‘professional aunt, no kids’ is proud to be a ‘pank’
,“ The Telegraph
, November 11, 2013