Week in Review: Feeling a bit wordy

All week long you've been sending us great new neologisms (is that redundant?) for our coin-a-new-word contest. For today's Week in Review, I'm doing the same.

Spellancholy. Noun. The state of still being upset about losing a spelling bee in 1989.

Mortugal. Noun. A place where people are obsessed with death. Also used as the adjective mortuguese, as in, "That Goth chick is always quoting Sylvia Plath. She only speaks mortuguese."

Starbucker. Noun. Someone who gives you a coupon and then claims that it's no longer valid.

Inkredible. Adjective. Bearing a permanent mark in tribute to mental_floss. Synonym: tat-tastic.

Pitchfest. Noun. A strategy of pouting and sulking used to stop play in cricket when a team feels slighted by the umpires.

Shutterbugged. Adjective. Annoyed by the constant posts on this blog featuring giant pictures of insects.

Rugrat. Noun. A baby; specifically, a baby wearing a toupee.

Ho-hump. Adjective. Suggestive and of mediocre quality, as in, "Fergie seems to be confusing Tower Bridge with London Bridge -- the song's catchy, but it's really just ho-hump."

Number three. Noun. Death on the toilet, as in, "Catherine the Great said she had to do number two, but she's been in there so long I'm starting to worry it was number three."

Smug n' Tall. Noun. A clothing store aimed at people who think their prodigious height indicates prodigious intellect.

Greenhouse gassy. Adjective. So prone to burping and/or farting as to contribute to global warming through the production of large quantities of methane.

Statue-tory crime. Noun. An act considered offensive if committed by a statue but laudable if committed by attractive young women.

Roo-486. The logical next step in Australia's war against overly fecund kangaroos.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

College Board Wants to Erase Thousands of Years From AP World History, and Teachers Aren't Happy

One would be forgiven for thinking that the Ides of March are upon us, because Julius Caesar is being taken out once again—this time from the Advanced Placement World History exam. The College Board in charge of the AP program is planning to remove the Roman leader, and every other historical figure who lived and died prior to 1450, from high school students’ tests, The New York Times reports.

The nonprofit board recently announced that it would revise the test, beginning in 2019, to make it more manageable for teachers and students alike. The current exam covers over 10,000 years of world history, and according to the board, “no other AP course requires such an expanse of content to be covered over a single school year.”

As an alternative, the board suggested that schools offer two separate year-long courses to cover the entirety of world history, including a Pre-AP World History and Geography class focusing on the Ancient Period (before 600 BCE) up through the Postclassical Period (ending around 1450). However, as Politico points out, a pre-course for which the College Board would charge a fee "isn’t likely to be picked up by cash-strapped public schools," and high school students wouldn't be as inclined to take the pre-AP course since there would be no exam or college credit for it.

Many teachers and historians are pushing back against the proposed changes and asking the board to leave the course untouched. Much of the controversy surrounds the 1450 start date and the fact that no pre-colonial history would be tested.

“They couldn’t have picked a more Eurocentric date,” Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, who previously helped develop AP History exams and courses, told The New York Times. “If you start in 1450, the first thing you’ll talk about in terms of Africa is the slave trade. The first thing you’ll talk about in terms of the Americas is people dying from smallpox and other things. It’s not a start date that encourages looking at the agency and creativity of people outside Europe.”

A group of teachers who attended an AP open forum in Salt Lake City also protested the changes. One Michigan educator, Tyler George, told Politico, “Students need to understand that there was a beautiful, vast, and engaging world before Europeans ‘discovered’ it.”

The board is now reportedly reconsidering its decision and may push the start date of the course back some several hundred years. Their decision will be announced in July.

[h/t The New York Times]

North America: East or West Coast?


More from mental floss studios