Thursday, May 13, 2021


Merriam-Webster is selling an NFT of its definition of “NFT.” The pitch begins: “Many people don’t really know what “NFT” means. But you do. So does Merriam-Webster, America’s most trusted dictionary.”

The current high bid: Ξ 7 ($26,344.89).

Yes, it’s for a good cause, with the proceeds going to Teach for All. But I dunno. My post title is meant to suggest my amused disbelief. You’d never catch The American Heritage Dictionary engaging in this kind of postmodern stunt, harumph. (My harumph is in jest.)

comments: 7

Fresca said...

"Non-fungible"---makes me think of mushroonms--but, no:
fungible is from medieval Latin fungibilis, from fungi ‘perform, enjoy’;
fungus, a mushroom;" The Latin word is believed to be cognate with (or derived from) Greek sphongos, the Attic form of spongos "sponge".

(Irrelelvant, I guess, but where my mind went... :)

Michael Leddy said...

I remember learning (and I guess forgetting) about fungible goods a long time ago. M-W: “Something fungible can be exchanged for something else of the same kind,” with oil and cash as examples. The word makes me think of fungoes, the fly balls hit for fielding practice.

joecab said...

Well to be fair AH probably wouldn't run the definition unless they had a cute little picture to stick in the margin.

Michael Leddy said...

Ha! At library sales I always look for the edition that has a Nancy panel (or complete strip?) to illustrate “comic strip.”

joecab said...

It's a complete strip that shows nancy with a doll that was made in Japan, and the punchline is it speaks Japanese.

The amazing thing is that Bushmiller was so good at stripping Nancy down to only the elements necessary and nothing more that this strip was shrunk down to a very small size in the AHD yet still perfectly legible.

Sean Crawford said...

I hate to be a spoil sport, but...

It was only a month ago that I learned through Seth Godin's blog that NFT's have a huge energy cost.

This week Elron Musk reversed his stance on allowing Bitcoin to be used to buy a Tesla, presumably to save the planet's energy.

Today I e-mailed my local news editor to tell him so. I added that on May 8, buried in the business section, was a financial columnist saying it was "mind-blowing" that he read somewhere that a single Bitcoin transaction used enough energy to power a home for 25 days.

I don't know what's true, but I'm worried.

Michael Leddy said...

Joe, thanks for describing it. I just found it, on page 22 of How to Read “Nancy”.

Sean, spoil away. If NFTs are a huge energy drain, it’s both weird and sad, given what I’d think of as their absurdity.