Dictionary's appetizing new additions
Friday, July 11, 2008 | 01:27 PM ET
by Jessica Wong, CBCNews.ca
For writers or people who love language, it's usually an interesting day when a new slate of words makes it into the dictionary.
This week, the folks at Merriam-Webster announced the addition of dozens of wordsto the latest edition of their Collegiate Dictionary.
Amid a gaggle of techie-inspired entries, it was satisfying to see a cluster of food-related entries, including edamame (immature green soybeans), pescatarian (a vegetarian who also eats fish), prosecco (a type of Italian sparkling wine) and soju (Korean vodka distilled from rice).
Edamame, or immature green soybeans, have become much more common in North American cuisine. (Lee Reich/Associated Press)
"As soon as we see the word used without explanation or translation or gloss, we consider it a naturalized citizen of the English language," Peter Sokolowski, a Merriam-Webster editor-at-large, told the Associated Press.
"If somebody is using it to convey a specific idea and that idea is successfully conveyed in that word, it's ready to go in the dictionary."
According to the editors, the food-related entries reflect the general public's growing interest in the culinary arts — something I've definitely noticed.
While visiting some relatives this week, I cracked open the freezer in a quest for ice cubes and found it packed full of frozen edamame — this from a family that had in the past seemed practically allergic to fruit, vegetables and salads.
Not too long before this, a friend who is attempting a more vegetarian-like diet (but admitted to giving in to fish and seafood) was delighted when I described her current state as pescatarian.
Personally, two of the newer terms in my food vocabulary include "locavore" — those who only eat locally grown/produced and seasonally available food — and miracle fruit — the quirky West African berry that temporarily fools the taste buds into thinking sour foods are sweet.
What food-related words or phrases have popped into your life recently?
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About the blog
From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.
About the writers
Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.
Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.
Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.
Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).
Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.
Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.
Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.
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