Lexical Learning Lesson

I just learned something important.  You can’t go willy nilly about town creating words.  I’ve been using the word “wog” to describe my lackluster running (get it?  walk+jog=wog?  It’s math.).  I’ve found myself quite amusing for the past few months as I bandied this word about.

This morning, I looked it up to see if I could, perhaps, enter it into the Urban Dictionary.  I cringed at my hubris when I discovered two things…

First, I discovered that is a common acronym (see link here):

WOG  World of Goo (game by 2-D Boy)
WOG  Wake of Gods (gaming, Heroes of Might and Magic III)
WOG  Word of God
WoG   Whole of Government (Australia)
WoG   In the Wake of Gods (add-on to Heroes of Might & Magic III: The Shadow of Death)
WoG   Wrath of God (game)
WOG  Worthy Oriental Gentleman
WOG  Water-Oil-Gas (valves, pressure)
WOG  Without Guarantee
WOG  Westinghouse Owners Group
WOG  Westernised Oriental Gentleman
WOG  Working On Government (apocryphal: circa 1900s British Empire acronym stenciled on shirts of laborers assigned to government projects)
WOG  Woman of God
WOG  Without Giblets (poultry industry)
WOG  With Other Goods
WOG  Way Out Games (old TV game show)
WOG  Without Girlfriend
WOG  Watch Officer’s Guide
WOG  Weight on Gear
WOG  Wisdom Oriented Guardian
WOG  Wings Of Green (US Air Force Academy sky diving team)
WOG  Whole Oat Groats (grain milling)
WOG  Work Order Generator
WOG  Work Out Gardener (prisoner status; Victoria, Australia prison system)
WOG  Way of Gun (audio course)
WOG  Weight on Ground (aviation)

Second, much to my chagrin, “wog” has been used as a  racial slur for over a  century, but as recently as the 1960’s (see here). The word is already in the Urban Dictionary (see here), and is quite an ugly bit of lexicon.

So… the lesson here is to check before you start throwing words around.  I have a little work ahead of me in undoing this word usage.  When I am done, I will start using the word “wrun” instead.  And yes, I checked.  It is little more than a radio station thus far, so I am safe (for now)

3 thoughts on “Lexical Learning Lesson

  1. How disappointing. I like the word 'wog'… has an implied hip motion to it that makes me think of… well, wogging. Too bad somebody's ruined it. Wrun doesn't have the same flow, I'm afraid. Unless you're either silencing the 'w' (in which case, what's the point?) or making it a vowel (oo-run) – and even then it's not very nice to say.Jalk works. It's not original, but at least it's not racist…Now wait a minute! The word I have to type to verify my comment is 'ootro'. That's got to be good for somethin'…

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