Who uses it: Comic book authors and fans
What it means: "Retroactive continuity," the reinvention of a character's history to explain how they could have survived a previously fatal attack, how they have brand-new siblings or children, and how they don't age.
How you can use it: When revising your resume, or revealing a long-kept secret.
A week or two ago, a friend sent me an e-mail saying that although he read the blog, it told him only the minutiae of my life, not the big things. It's true; this blog has left out almost all of the biggest news of my life over the past couple of years, with the exception of my move and my mother's death. I suppose that if I'd gotten married, I'd have mentioned that, and if I'd taken on a full-time job, I'd probably have mentioned that, too.
But I haven't gotten married, I haven't been arrested, I haven't gone back to a full-time job, and all the rest of it is my business, thank you very much.
It's not that I'm deliberately secretive or obscure (although some friends would say that I am). It's that the blog is a public digest, and most of its visitors on any given day are strangers. I don't feel like sharing details of my personal life with strangers, and the details are often so complicated and marvelous that the blog couldn't do them justice for my friends and family.
For the last year or so, I've been mentioning "Chris" and "Claire" in this blog without saying who they are. Chris and Claire are my adult children, and if you're a friend of mine who didn't know I had adult children, I apologize. It's an amazing and wonderful story, but completely unsuitable for the format of the blog, and therefore I'm not going to tell it here.
So let's call it ret-con, and move on.