autological (adj.)

From German autologisch, from Ancient Greek αὐτός (autós, “self”) + λόγος (lógos, “word”).

An autological word (also called homological word or autonym) is a word that expresses a property that it also possesses (e.g. the word “short” is short, “noun” is a noun, “English” is English, “pentasyllabic” has five syllables, “word” is a word). The opposite is a heterological word, one that does not apply to itself (e.g. “long” is not long, “monosyllabic” has five syllables, “German” is not a German word). The world “neologism” was once autological, but now that it is no longer a new word, it is no longer autological.

The opposite of an autological word is a heterological word.  Whether or not “heterological” is in fact a heterological word or an autological word is a paradox.


Gk. eu – good;  cata – down, back, against; strophe – a twisting, or turning; catastrophe, “an overturning.”

As opposed to the regular catastrophes, a eucatastrophe is “the sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with joy and brings tears.” An unexpected, happy ending.

Related: serendipity; deus ex machina, peripeteia.

This neologism was invented by J.R.R. Tolkein.

mindputtering (n/v)

verb, to mindputter: thinking, but thinking like a punchy, unreliable, two-cylinder engine of some re-repaired old moped trying to tow a topic or subject for which an eight cylinder truck might be necessary.

noun, mindputterings: the result of such an effort. The disorganized disconnected drivel one writes in a notebook and shows to no one, or at other times, puts on a blog. The rabbit pellet of thought: numerous, omnipresent, nutritionless, benign.  Very much the result of free association, or stream of consciousness.  Definitely related to surrealist automatism, but mindputterers take themselves in no way so seriously.

e.e.cummings would have liked this word.

etymology: mind + putter.

I made this word up.

related: thought-try

ferhoodle (v)

ferhoodles; ferhoodling; easily a noun or adjective, pro ratus nati:

To confuse or mix up something in a particularly bumbling way.

Cf.: fobdoodle, kerfuffle, jobbernowl, et alia.

chaostory (n)

A better word for “history,” or as I like to call it, “stories.”

According to Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr., a man with a very complicated name, and the best Sci-Fi theoriest around:

“The most historians can do is to make tentative statements about causation with reference to plausible counterfactuals, constructed on the basis of judgments about probability. Finally, the probability of alternative scenarios can be inferred only from such statements by contemporaries about the future as have survived. These points could be held up as the manifesto for a “chaostory” — a chaotic approach to history.” (Seven Beauties of Sci-Fi, p. 97).

And yet historians think they have such a strangehold on truth claims! So cocksure those historians. That does it: from here on out I’m calling them “storians.”

Cf. historiosophy.

Marxist Glam (n)

Short for Marxist Glamour: a style, not a life choice, specific to affluent young PhD candidates (revolutionaries, “young guns”), often Ivy League graduate students, who insist on a Marxist critique of all things while typing from their Hamptons/Cape beach houses. Does not have to be the Hamptons. Pipes, leather couture, sometimes tweed, elbow patches, union organizers, utter failure to acknowledge privilege while proficient at recognizing irony everywhere else. Oxymorons. Affected tick, accent, or personality disorder inspired by DSM-IV gloss. Struggles to struggle. Buys socks from same vendor as the pope.

see also: “socialist glam,” and “hipster chic.”

This word is probably going to get me in trouble with my colleagues.