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Can you piece together what our theme is this week?

mixed message – action that gives confusingly contradictory signals
    The Supreme Court gave government officials a mixed message … A closely divided court said a granite monument that proclaims "I am the Lord thy God" outside the Texas Capitol is allowed. But it struck down framed copies of the Ten Commandments in two Kentucky courthouses.
    – Hope Yen, Associated Press, June 28, 2005
Note: "Both cases were decided on a 5-4 vote, with Justice Stephen Breyer providing the swing vote and the others consistently voting for or against the displays." Tom Heinen, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
 
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dual-use technology – technology that can be used for both peaceful and military purposes (usually, production of nuclear weapons)
    Iran has obtained uranium-enrichment centrifuges, which can produce both fuel for nuclear power plants and material for bombs. Washington contends Tehran plans to build weapons, but the Iranians say they’re interested only in peaceful energy. Delegations here had promoted ideas for limiting access to such dual-use technology with bombmaking potential.
    – Associated Press, May 27, 2005
 
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Is the topic words expressing ambiguity?
 
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Good thought, Bob, based on the data you had ... but no.

podcasts – radio shows and other audio programs posted on the Internet, available for download
    Apple Computer introduced software that includes a directory making it easier to find and listen to podcasts, … a sort of TV Guide for Internet audio programs. It hasn't always been easy finding the tens of thousands of available programs … Apple's embrace of podcasts represents the biggest endorsement yet of the relatively new but fast-growing phenomenon. Podcasts let consumers listen to audio programs when they want to, rather than when broadcasters schedule them. Major media companies are doing podcasts of their news programming. Thousands of amateur podcasters are a grassroots movement, showcasing everything from politics, to their favorite music, to a discussion of breakfast that morning.
    – Nick Wingfield, Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2005
 
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red state or blue state – U.S. states which predominantly vote for the Republican party (red) or the Democratic party (blue) respectively, esp. in presidential elections
The terms are often used to indicate culture and values. See quotes.
    Accent? I thought I'd purged the last whiff of that red-state stigma during my Okie [Oklahoma] childhood, partly thanks to a German mother who spoke impeccable English with, if anything, a vaguely British accent.
    – Blake Bailey, award-winning literary biographer, quoted in The Boston Globe, June 5, 2005

    … the Sunday [New York] Times, the single greatest current events icon in the East Coast, Blue State urban, moneyed and intellectual world. If anything creates water-cooler buzz in this orbit, it's the Sunday Times.
    – Dick Meyer, CBS News (on line), June 7, 2005
 
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Not quite, Bob, but most of the words are indeed neologisms.

bris (or brith) – Judaism: the rite of circumcision (male), performed on the eighth day after birth.
[from Hebrew berît covenant]
    Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg squeezed next to Sheldon Silver, the speaker of the State Assembly, before a large menorah set up in a small Midtown kosher restaurant. The Hanukkah ceremony was one in a series of chits that Mr. Bloomberg attempted to tally with Mr. Silver over the last year. The mayor attended the bris of two of Mr. Silver's grandsons, paid a condolence call when the speaker's brother died in August and held news conferences as often as possible in the speaker's Lower Manhattan district.
    - Jennifer Steinhauer, New York Times, June 8, 2005
In a recent "guess the theme," the theme we revealed was, "Even the Oxford English Dictionary includes several thousand words or meanings for which OED, having absolutely no example of the word actually being used in context, is relying solely upon other dictionaries. This week we are giving examples." All these words were in OED but very rarely used.

This week's theme is the opposite: oft-used words that OED has not included. Here is a rough measure of frequency-of-use for what we've presented under this theme. OED has admitted none of them.
    . .418,000 Google hits for mixed message (singular or plural)
    . . .77,600 for dual-use technology (singular or plural)
    8,330,000 for podcast (14 million more for ~s, ~ing, ~er, ~ers, and ~ed)
    2,074,000 for red state or blue state (singular or plural)
    . .931,000 for bris or brith
The functionary who performs a bris is called a mohel. Interestingly, OED omits bris (931,000 hits) but includes mohel, which has only about 43,000 hits.
 
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Podcast is quite impressive at 14 million plus, since the ipod has only been around for a couple of years, and podcasts can't be more than a year or so old.
 
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treasury bond (or T-bond) – long-term debt of a government, issued as a tradable security.
In the overwhelming majority of usages, the government meant is the US government.
--- a T-bill is for one year or less;
--- a T-note is over one year up to ten years;
--- a T-bond is more than ten years.
Collectively, they are referred to as treasuries.

OED omits these meanings. Some terms it omits entirely;¹ some it defines, provincially, as applying only to UK debt² – but the terms are used for debt of any country, most often the US. OED does correctly list treasury note as typically a US security – but mistakenly says it is one payable on demand. This is simply wrong: a US treasury note has a fixed maturity date.


¹T-notes; T-bonds
²T-bills; treasury bills; treasury bonds

This message has been edited. Last edited by: wordcrafter,
 
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Early last July I reported that OED did not include "podcast", although the word and its forms had 22 million ghits.

I can now report that it was included in the edition of OED published in August 2005. Coincidence? Could it be that they are reading Wordcraft? Wink

It is not in the on-line OED, however.
 
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