Grammar Moses: Too many Fluffernutter sandwiches will give you a dad bod

  • A jar of Marshmallow Fluff and a Fluffernutter sandwich are displayed Sept. 27, 2013, in North Andover, Mass.

    A jar of Marshmallow Fluff and a Fluffernutter sandwich are displayed Sept. 27, 2013, in North Andover, Mass. Associated Press

Posted10/31/2021 5:30 AM

How serendipitous!

Just as I was about to start typing something/anything here today, I received an email from the good folks at Merriam-Webster with the news that they have added 455 words and definitions.


You read that right: 455.

If this isn't evidence that language changes, I don't know what is.

Without further ado, here is a look at some of my favorites:

• Fluffernutter

When I was in elementary school there was a boy who lived across the street and two houses down from us on Yale Avenue in Arlington Heights.

We were good friends, but I don't remember his name. What I do remember was his mother would regularly make us Fluffernutter sandwiches, which is peanut butter and marshmallow fluff on white bread.

This might explain why I would hang around with him at mealtime.

My mother's idea of junk food was grape juice cut with a splash of ginger ale. We called it a "Grape Fizzy."

Mom packed me off to college with trail mix that consisted of nuts, carob and, I imagine, feed corn and twigs.

• amirite

Think back to your geology class, as I'm doing. I remember seeing "amirite" recently and thinking it must be some sort of crystalline mineral.

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There are zillions of minerals that have an "-ite" suffix, after all. There is amicite, which is a transparent crystal found in just four places on earth.

But "amirite" is an altogether different thing. Sound it out: "Am I right?"

Yes, it's another texting abbreviation -- one that saves exactly one letter.

Don't ask me how long it took me to figure out what "ICYMI" means.

• copypasta

I admit to never having seen this before M-W's new list came out. It refers to something that has been copied and pasted time and again in cyberspace, and it can be something as benign as a "Grumpy Cat" meme and as harmful as hate speech.

• whataboutism

It's hard to believe this one isn't in your grandpa's threadbare dictionary. The practice of whataboutism certainly goes back millennia.


"Why did you eat so much mastodon meat?"

"That's nothing, Murph. Joe took the heart all for himself."

Whataboutism is the act of responding to an accusation by making one of your own with the intention of minimizing your sin.

• faux hawk

This is for those semi-rebellious kids who don't want to fully commit to shaving the sides of their heads to create a mohawk. With a "faux hawk," you slick down the sides and leave the top spiky.

• dad bod

What's with all of the dad hate these days?

"Dad jokes" are eye-rollingly inoffensive.

I was on my morning walk the other day, and I found a "Dad Rock Essentials" playlist on Apple Music filled with a lot of, well, stuff you might tap your toe to but not crank on the stereo because dads are supposed to tell you to "TURN THAT MUSIC DOWN!"

A "dad bod," if you haven't already surmised, is what many of us guys see when we look in the mirror: a bit doughy and ill-defined.

I say that definition is ill-defined.

Let's meet!

Join me from noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, at the Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Ave. in Elgin, for what promises to be a line-around-the-block, standing-room-only book signing!

Seriously, this will be my first book signing, and sitting at a table, twiddling my thumbs for 90 minutes would be detrimental to my sense of self worth.

Let's finally meet in person! Buy a book or two. I'll scribble something nice on them for you. If you've already bought one, I'll sign that, too.

Bonus: You get to meet my better half. You already know her fairly well through this column.

Write carefully!

• Jim Baumann is vice president/managing editor of the Daily Herald. You can buy Jim's new book, "Grammar Moses: A humorous guide to grammar and usage," at Write him at and put "Grammar Moses" in the subject line. You also can friend or follow Jim at

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