Ben Zimmer of Language Log has a funny demolition of a Candace Murphy article decrying, yes, “abuses and misuses” of the English language. I’ll let you enjoy the silly stuff over there; here I want to highlight one paragraph about finding new words and usages on the internet:
That’s where [Oxford lexicographer Erin] McKean has found words like farb (not authentic, badly done), nomenklatura (non-literally; by analogy), drabble (a short story of 100 words or fewer), haxie (a hack for the Macintosh operating system) and swancho (a combination poncho/sweater).
Farb, drabble, haxie, and swancho were new to me, and their definitions plausible; nomenklatura was an old friend (being a Russian term for the Soviet system in which the Communist Party would make appointments to government posts), but I just couldn’t see how it could be used to mean ‘non-literally; by analogy’ or how it would get there. “I don’t mean that literally, I mean it nomenklatura, dude!” Nope, didn’t work for me. So I wrote Erin to get some clarification, and she explained that she had been talking about a nonliteral use of the word nomenklatura itself, “that is, one that referred to people that weren’t Russians, but were metaphorically similar to the Russian nomenklatura.” Ah, all was clear! But I fear readers of “Inside Bay Area” may be misled into trying to use it as an adverb, and it will all end in tears and Safire.