“Where the Rio Grande and the Rio Conchos meet in west Texas is believed to be the oldest continuously-cultivated land in America. But the most precious crop you’ll find there today is dreams ….”
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The city council of Ellis, Kansas, passed a declaration to call the city “Rocket Town” on July 28, 2011. The declaration is in honor of the fourth anniversary of Big Creek Rocketry, a rocketry education program offered through the Ellis Public Library.
At the city council’s regular meeting on July 5, 2011, Ellis mayor Dave McDaniel read the proclamation calling for the city of about 2000 residents to be called “Rocket Town” on July 28. On July 28, Big Creek Rocketry will host a night model rocket launch.
Major news media outlets recently reported that the new words added to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) for 2011 include several time-saving online abbreviations. Abbreviations such as LOL, OMG, and IMHO are familiar to most people who have spent any time on internet discussion forums, reading email, or composing “Tweets.”
The media, however, failed to note another abbreviation found among the 900 new words, CATO.
A contrived initialism for “Catastrophe At Take Off,” the abbreviation CATO is used as a noun and is generally defined as “a catastrophic failure.” Although originally used to describe the dramatic malfunction of a rocket motor, the use of CATO has broadened to include a range of calamitous events such as a rocket “shredding” in flight due to aerodynamic stress or a participant in an online discussion suffering apparent meltdown as the result of others committing common grammar mistakes.
No one from the OED was available to comment on the
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