Academics remove themselves to ivory towers to puzzle over hard problems. But their isolation sometimes leads to hilarious results — like the discovery that "bad" and "dirty" are endangered linguistic species.
That result comes from a study by researchers at the University of Reading in the U.K. stretching back millennia. Their supercomputer predicts that "squeeze," "guts," and "stick" are likely to disappear from the language — thousands of years from now. Not a particularly useful result.
What we want to know: What are the ephemeral words disappearing now? Will Shortz, the New York Times crossword editor, appeared on the Simpsons last fall, prompting an elegy for words that had been dropped from the dictionary like "zounds" and "hootenanny." Today's technobabble will surely prove even more fleeting. We'll start by nominating "tweet," the noisome term Twitter users insist on for their 140-character text-message bleetings. Add your own in the comments.