I'm not pretentious enough to use big words to make other people feel stupid, but I jump at the chance to add to my vocabulary. Reading the Sookie Stackhouse books recently has made me consider a ‘word of the day’ calendar. Sookie makes multiple references to the word of the day and how they fit into her day to day life. If I only I wouldn’t forget to flip it and fall weeks behind, I'd get one.
This year at conference, and more recently in a contest announcement I read, a new term has been tossed around that I hadn't heard before - steampunk. I don’t know about you, but to me it brings up confusing images of guys with Mohawks wrapped in fluffy bath towels playing loud, annoying music in a spa resort sauna.
I had to Google it. So not even close. :) It’s not new, but has recently started gaining a foothold in the romance genre, so it has become more relevant to me. Apparently it refers to a fantasy or science fiction sub genre that focuses primarily on the 19th century or Victorian period (where power was mostly generated via steam) but contains adaptations and uses of more modern or fantastical elements like robots or computers. It's also known to have anti-establishment undertones and has cousins like cyberpunk, which was described as more 'dystopian.' It just makes my head hurt to even consider it.
Examples include older scientific romances like H.G. Wells's Time Machine or more modern books or films like Wild, Wild West or The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. If you haven’t seen or read any of these, they’re historically based, but the characters either live in an alternate reality or might be inventors that have creations well ahead of their time. I wonder if something like The Prestige (which blew my mind) would fit in this category. I’d seen this stuff before but never considered it was its own genre, or that if it were, it would have a title like “steampunk.”
Whereas steampunk does not have the potential to become one of my new favorite words, I've tucked the concept away in my brain for future use. I thought I would share my knowledge so that you, too, could add it to your word arsenal and when you come across it at some point, will already know all about it.
Have you heard of steampunk before or was I living in a cave? Ever read any? Any new words pop into your vocabulary recently that you’d like to share?