Word Buzz Wednesday: e-vent, makeup tax, Perseids

meteo (missed focus)

Welcome to Word Buzz Wednesday, in which we round up our favorite buzzworthy words of the week. The latest: don’t hit send; the price of beauty; a meteor shower fit for the gods.


“But if the Google guys are to succeed in their new career as conglomerateurs, they’re probably going to have to get really good at saying no.”

Justin Fox, “Can Larry Page and Sergey Brin Become Warren Buffets?” BloombergView, August 10, 2015

Conglomerateur joins the ranks of other entrepreneur portmanteaus such as momtrepreneur and ganjapreneuer. The word entrepreneur comes from an Old French word meaning “to undertake,” while conglomerate, a corporation made up of different companies, comes from the Latin conglomerāre, “to wind into a ball.”


“We can e-vent from anywhere as long as we have our phone. And it feels safe: We’re behind a screen.”

Elizabeth Bernstein, “Don’t Hit Send: Angry Emails Just Make You Angrier,” The Wall Street Journal, August 10, 2015

No, an e-vent isn’t an electronic event. It means to vent over email. To vent meaning to release one’s (usually negative) feelings is quite old, from the 1600s, says the Oxford English Dictionary.

makeup tax

“The ‘makeup tax’ Brittain mentioned is very real. Women invest time and money into doing their makeup because it impacts their relationships and their paychecks.”

Olga Khazan, “The Makeup Tax,” The Atlantic, August 5, 2015

The makeup tax is the price — in both money and time — that some women pay in cosmetics and other beauty products in order to feel or be accepted in work or social situations.


“Summer meteor showers are absolutely where it’s at, and the Perseids peaks at exactly the right moment of the season, just as summer is winding down, but well before any sort of cold snap has fully hit.”

Ria Misra, “The Best Meteor Shower Is Tonight, and Here’s How to Watch It,” io9, August 12, 2015

The Perseids meteor shower is associated with the wonderfully called comet Swift-Tuttle, and is named for its seeming point of origin, the constellation Perseus.


“For the time being, once confusing and now terrifyingly-clarified Quooklyn is probably a better bet.”

Emma Whitford, “Report: Queens Rent More Obscene Than Brooklyn,” Gothamist, August 13, 2015

Quooklyn is a neighborhood on the Queens-Brooklyn border in New York City. The term was apparently coined by a food critic in The New York Times and actually refers to the neighborhood of Ridgewood.