Some of these words are: automagically (automatically in a way that seems magical); bargainous (costing less than expected); bromance (close platonic male friendship); cougar (older woman who dates younger men); exit strategy (planned means of extricating oneself from a situation); rock (to do something in a confident, flamboyant way); truthiness (quality of seeming true); and flyover states [derogatory] (Central regions of U.S.). It was fascinating to read the list, especially to note "flyover states."
I adopted "Fly-over Country" as the name of this blog for several reasons. First, I wanted to create a concrete, grounded sense of place. That seemed important in this virtual online world. Second, as I wrote in my author's note, I consider fly-over country as a literal geographic region-- in my case, the southwest corner of Minnesota--but also as a spiritual geography, those in-between places we tend to discount on the way to our desired destination. The reality is that, as in so many stories and movies, the real action, the real character development often happen when we're detoured in fly-over country. Third, I'd written a poem titled "Fly-over Country" that expressed both the physical and spiritual sense of this term.
In this new words list, the term "flyover states" was identified as derogatory. It took on that negative political connotation in 2008 during the last presidential election. But the fact that the term was being bandied about, was in wider circulation, and had complex meanings was all fine with me. Also, "fly-over states" has a different feel than "flyover country," which seemsmore specific, more local and immediate, not so vast and amorphous.
As someone who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, loved going into the city, and never lived in a small town (population 12,000), I wondered what it would be like to live in the middle of nowhere when we moved here 21 years ago. The reality is that my writing life has taken root in a way that would not have been possible elsewhere. I'm teaching at SMSU, a university with a strong tradition of valuing literature, of supporting and nurturing writers. Bill Holm, a deceased colleague who was a professor in the English Department at Southwest Minnesota State University, wrote a book called The Heart Can Be Filled Anywhere on Earth. I've found Bill's words to be true--even here, in fly-over country.