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In Other Words: Blokesploitation

It began with retrosexuals – the flipside of the latte-sipping meterosexual dandy, who’d rather a Big M and could tell people exactly where they could stuff their zucchini flowers. They were rough diamonds from a time before gourmet grub and when manscaping meant burying a bloke in your backyard.
Back in 2007 popular culture cottoned on to the Aussie man exemplified by Kenny, the waste management bloke with a heart of gold. The return of the flannie and competitions for hot tradies all made the yob on-trend again. But mostly blokesploitation appeared on lifestyle shows so no episode of Better Homes & Gardens was complete without a loveable chippy showing the requisite builder’s crack. 
In Other Words is a regular on the Big Issue's Ointment page.  

In Other Words: Dadvocate

It’s not enough to just raise your kids to not eat their own snot – today the parent is the political as dadvocates push forward the case for active fathering. Author Jeff Sass reckons iPads are bested by iDads as the latter has better battery life though memory decreases in older units. Not to mention the danger of their dad jokes going viral.
But you don’t have to be male to wear the mantel. Author of parenting bible What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Heidi Murkoff calls herself a dadvocate and included a whole chapter in the latest edition dedicated to proactive papas. One day dadvocates may even dream of having a book of their own.
In Other Words is a regular on the Big Issue's Ointment page. 

In Other Words: HiPPO

In the corporate jungle there are few things as dangerous as the slow-moving HiPPO. The meeting is going fine until everyone turns and listens out for the confused charge of the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion (or HiPPO). 
After absently fidgeting with their Blackberry for most of the presentation, HiPPOs will typically yawn, “Yeah, we’re not doing any of that. What about building a MySpace page? Kids love that don’t they?” This is answered by howls of approval from the corporate hyenas.
HiPPO decision making is becoming extinct as businesses are placing an emphasis on marketing research and what their customers actually want. In Hollywood, however, amphibious animals are still calling the shots with the announcement this month of – hold onto your balls - HungryHungry Hippos: The Movie.



In Other Words is a regular on the Big Issue's Ointment page. 

In Other Words: Defunctuation

It’s not just words that go extinct, sometimes the symbols before or after them fall off the perch. Take the interrobang – not the sexual torture it sounds like but a handy combination of the exclamation mark and the question mark or . It was invented in 1962 to handle both alarming and questioning sentences, but despite getting a run on typewriters in the 1970s never really took off. It became defunctuation.
The interrobang joins typographical oddities at the foggy end of the keyboard such as irony mark ؟ (a backward question mark invented in France and never seen in the USA) and asterism ⁂ (a triangle of three asterisks used to signal the end of a sub-chapter). Still, there is the hope of refunctuation as symbols get resurrected like the @ sign – once exclusively used by accountants for “at the rate of” before email jumpstarted its comeback.

In Other Words is a regular on the Big Issue's Ointment page. 


In Other Words: Oversharenting

It starts innocently enough with a birth announcement on Twitter, maybe an image of a new born on Facebook, then slides into a blog about your beautiful baby’s every poop (images included). If you’ve ever known more about a friend’s child’s bowel movements than their doctor then you’ve been a victim of oversharenting.
The blog STFU Parents has become a watchdog for the worst offenders, pulling out cases like misspelled defences of homeschooling or opening up a Facebook page in honour of their precious child’s snot. They’ve even discovered new subtypes like mommyjacking, where an apparently innocent status like “I’m tired” becomes mommyjacked with comments like “You don’t know tired until you’ve had a teething baby screaming in your face at 3 AM!!!”. Child-free friends encountering this are officially allowed to respond by putting parents in a “timeout” in a bar somewhere.
In Other Words is a regular on the Big Issue's Ointment page. 

In Other Words: Amazeballs

It sounds a little filthy, but this cheerful exclamation is just another word for awesome. The origin of amazeballs has been attributed to bitchy celeb blogger Perez Hilton who encouraged Twitter users to retweet it to make it a trending topic way back in 2009.
But the word (sometimes spelt amazballs) really jumped the shark in February 2012 when Tim Burgess of Brit indie band The Charlatans tweeted that he thought totes amazeballs would make a good breakfast cereal. Kellogg’s’ surreally took him at his word, producing a concoction of shortbread, raisins, marshmallows and chocolate-flavoured drops in a pack featuring a cartoon version of the singer. The sugared-up cereal should come with a pair of dentures in every box, though Burgess reckons it’s true to the word’s inspiration because it “sounded to me like something Willy Wonka would come up with.”

In Other Words is a regular on the Big Issue's Ointment page. 

In Other Words: Verbal Texters

When your work colleague asks you “Report QUESTION MARK” you’ve got a case of verbal texting on your hands. It’s that socially awkward mode of speech that texting and emails has left us with, where people believe they can no longer communicate tone and need to spell out their punctuation. We are so sick of these guys EXCLAMATION POINT. At its worst it can degenerate into emoticons – “You’re giving me FROWNY FACE right now and I need TONGUE POKING.” – and initialism - “Don’t make me LOL” – in conversation. Some try to specify font in conversation – “This joke is much funnier in Comic Sans” – but at its worst it becomes twitter speak. There’s nothing worse than talking to someone using hashtags in dialogue #justsayin. And it has to stop before people start trying to insert hyperlinks into speech FULL STOP.
In Other Words is a regular on the Big Issue's Ointment page. Off Verbal Texters appeared in Issue No. 374. 

In Other Words: Geekocracy

If you’ve ever waited by your broken computer all morning to finally get a pasty kid in a Dungeons & Dragons t-shirt to visit and tell your machine is broken then you’ve already met a princeling of the geekocracy. The geeks have inherited the earth in a bloodless coup of confusing jargon such as power-cycling (switching your machine on/off), user error (blaming you for computer breakdown) or server issues (meaning “We have no idea what just happened”).
The kings of the geekocracy rarely leave their courts. With titles like Sys Admin or Chief Architect of All Time they are guarded by banks of servers and rarely deign to answer the phone preferring you “Fill out the email form and we’ll get back to you”. You are as likely to see a Sys Admin as Queen Elizabeth II popping around to explain why Windows keeps crashing.
In Other Words is a regular on the Big Issue's Ointment page. Geekocracy appeared in Issue No. 362. 

In Other Words: Off Gridding

You’re probably already overwhelmed by iAnxiety – that rising mania as everyone you know has bought at least one iPad. Plus your inbox is full, you’ve got 14 unanswered Twitter DMs and they’ve probably just invented a new social network for you to be behind on. It’s time you embraced off gridding.

Author Susan Maushart took the off gridder experiment, telling her family they’d live screen-free, truly cordless lives for six months. The connected kids LOLed, but Maushart’s book Winter of Our Disconnect has become a bible to turn off, tune out and drop out. Though they talk about increased attention spans and appreciating boredom, off gridders are commonly mistaken for Amish.

In Other Words is a regular on the Big Issue's Ointment page. Off Gridding appeared in Issue No. 356.