I was shocked (shocked!) to learn that one of the answers in the Sunday New York Times Crossword Puzzle was “sext.” It’s not that I wouldn’t love to sext with crossword editor Will Shortz, who is such a linguistic genius that it would probably revolutionize the practice.
Moreso, my surprise came from the fact that I remembered back in 2006, when there was a terrible furor over one of the crossword puzzle answers being “scumbag.” Seriously, it was un scandale! par excellence! Why? Because regular do-ers of the crossword puzzle are smart enough to know (as I did not) that the original meaning of “scumbag” was “condom.” The term dates from 1967, and since then has been considered too “vulgar” for elevated discourse. (Like I said, Who knew?) At the time, Shortz said that he would never include the word again.
And yet sexting gets the A-OK for 19-Down? In fact, as my research shows, “sext” has been an answer in the crossword puzzle at least twice before: on November 24 2021 and December 17 2021. What is the world, errrrrr, coming to??
As it happens, “sexting” entered the Oxford English Dictionary in August 2011 (ironically enough, since ideally these acts should never be done together) along with “retweet.” OMG, LOL and IMHO also made the cut and are now official words in our beloved English Language.
What I want to know (since The Times has previously declined to print the name of our website) is when I’ll be filling in 14-across with W-T-F. Willy! Sext me and let me know!
via Slate and Yahoo!
Shout out to brainiac WTF?! Guest Blogger turrah for the tip on this.
Rebecca Coale - aka Becky - is a writer, musician and producer. She and childhood best friend Jessica Donalds created Dating & Hookup and founded J&R Creative Media. Becky blogs about love poetry and modern life & womanhood. She lives with her husband, Howard Coale, and their family in Manhattan and Philadelphia.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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