We are terrorized by language every day! Word Terrorism is here to fight back, by collecting the worst examples of modern vocabulary and revealing the true meanings behind the most insidious terms. Your suggestions are both welcome and necessary.
smart take: 1. An idiot's preferred method of announcing on Twitter that he or she approves of some banal essay or article he or she just skimmed on a mobile phone. 2. #SmartTake: As a Twitter hashtag, used to inform one's social circle that one disdains a banal essay or article likely to be promoted as a smart take by one's intellectual inferiors.
encryption: A guarantee that the U.S. government will read a specific email.
boots on the ground: Arcane phrase used by elderly members of Congress to change the subject from flying death robots.
meme: A trivial matter fleetingly made special by its rapid repetition on the Internet. Usage: "A website I dislike has received 600,000 page views for repeating a meme about surprised ducks that I invented on Twitter."
MySpace: A holding tank or storage space for economic undesirables; a poorhouse.
startup: A technology business of any age that doesn't make anything tangible, money included.
Burning Man: An exclusive Nevada resort open for a single week each year that caters to wealthy middle-aged Californians.
[Illustration by Jim Cooke.]