Nomenclature (Assigning Words)


It might have been a mill wall like this where I saw that infamous word…

According to Wikipedia, nomenclature is a system of assigning words in specific activities or disciplines. For instance, in medicine, a “coronary” is a heart attack, altho’ in recent years they softened that to ‘heart event.’

I guess the idea of one’s body part sabotaging another was just too awful, tho’ don’t tell that to the flesh-eating bacteria people (they know, first-hand, it happens!).  How silly of language purists!

Now, FYI, former students:  I’m going into teacher mode…And general Trailer Alert:  I’ll be referencing some bad words and phrases…but only to make a point.

I’m a definite “work in progress.” Why?  I’m learning all the road signs to follow in Facebook, and I don’t mind availing myself of tutors along the way.

This week I learned “ambersand” (I thought person who first mentioned that to me made a typo—a significant one. I believed her computer suffered that damn auto-correct mine does when it superimposes a word for something that I never meant to use, for I’d never even seen “ambersand” before.

That same person is also the one who taught me LMAO. Now, I know these are ‘no big thing’ for those of you who use them all the time, but for me, THIS is progress.

I had to Google “ambersand,” and I figure:  This person thinks I’m waaayyy smarter than I am—or THIS is her clever way to get me to learn by doing.  If so, she’s mimicking my father in the way she teaches.  My Dad always said “Look it up,” whenever we asked the meaning of something when we were growing up.

He did that on all occasions except the time I came in from a Girl Scout meeting and called out to anyone within earshot, “What does F_CK mean?” (naturally, I left the “u” in.)

I’d seen it scrawled on a stone wall of the mill I passed to and from the meeting.

I knew I’d ventured into a No Man’s Zone when the whole house got quiet and my mother loudly mouthed:  “Shhhh…Your brothers are in there?”

Today, that kind of sexist remark would bring forth the question (from a much younger generation): “WTF”? (I learned that one really early on.)

But it was a far simpler time…In that era, my Mom and Dad were my Google…and we girls/women weren’t supposed to EVER say words like that (I didn’t either—til I was in senior year of college!)

So, today, I’m a bit more schooled in Facebook for the sake of a new woman friend I’ve met…a trucking woman I met on the Women In Trucking website. Christy Spiliotis Kuppler taught me Facebook and text lingo like LMAO or ROFL (which I’m usually doing when reading something’s she’s sent, confirming my suspicion that truckers are pretty funny people…at least the ones I’m meeting.)

She’s giving me a window on the world of modern day trucking, too,  invaluable to me, since Husband’s been out of the industry for years.  So, two key worlds she helps me navigate–modern day trucking and FB terminology.

And she never tells me to “SSSSShhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”

About admin

A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog,, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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