2007 ADS Word of the Year
Posted: 04 January 2008 09:13 PM   [ Ignore ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4609
Joined  2007-01-03

The American Dialect Society has selected subprime as its Word of the Year for 2007. You can see the whole list here.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 January 2008 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  429
Joined  2007-02-14

Speaking of words of the year, it might interest you to know that Van Dale en Onze Taal selected ‘bokitoproof’ as the Dutch word of the year (one word, no hyphen).

Earlier this year a gorilla, called Bokito, escaped from his cage in the Rotterdam zoo, badly injuring a woman and some other visitors. It was the hottest news item for a couple of weeks especially when it became clear that the woman in question had been visiting the zoo every week just to ‘bond’ with the gorilla. Experts explained that this ‘bonding’ was probably regarded as a taunt by Bokito and some pointed out that there were some clear sexual aspects about it too.

There is a video on Youtube showing the woman working on her special relationship with the animal.

Zoos in Holland were obliged to reconsider the safety of the housing of their wild animals and Rotterdam zoo had to widen the ditch that separates the gorillas from the visitors to make it ‘bokitoproof’. By extension, the word can also mean ‘able to withstand vandalism’.

Finally, the fact that there was a time when perfectly good Dutch ‘-bestendig’ served the same purpose for which we now seem to need English ‘-proof’ does bother me, but hey, that may be just my hang-up.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 January 2008 01:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  811
Joined  2007-06-20

I’ve been surprised, in the general and widespread commentary that appeared about googlegänger after the ADS’s WOTY results were announced, that nobody spoke of the condition of being “googlegängerless” (which I am, at least under my real name - there’s another Zythophile out there, but nobody else on the web with my first name/surname combination - and I’m sure quite a few of the contributers to this board are “googlegängerless” too).

“Googlegängerlessness"appears to have been known as being “google-unique” for at least a couple of years. Unfortunately, if you google “google-unique” you get lots of hits for pages containing things like “what makes Google unique”, and I CBA to plough through them all to find the first use of the phrase to describe googlegängerlessness. But being “google-unique” is starting to become important for people marketing goods and services, as discussed here. So if you want my tip for a future WOTY ...

Oh, and this is the first web page to see the use of the expression “googlegängerless” ... according to Google ...

[ Edited: 08 January 2008 01:23 PM by Zythophile ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 January 2008 06:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Rank
Total Posts:  15
Joined  2007-02-18

With these WOTY lists, does Wordorigins also discuss yearly lists of proposed banished words?
Lake Superior State University was the first to publish such a list, beginning in 1975 and I’ve always found it… interesting.

This year, in a gesture of humanitarian relief, the committee restores “truthiness,” banned on last year’s list, to formal use. This comes after comedians and late-night hosts were thrown under the bus and rendered speechless by a nationwide professional writers’ strike. The silence is deafening.

In this spirit, LSSU presents its 2008 list, a perfect storm of overused and abused words and phrases that pops organic, to a post-9/11 world decimated by webinars.

It is what it is.

Lake Superior State University 2008 List of Banished Words

Notice that wordsmith/wordsmithing is listed.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2008 12:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  590
Joined  2007-02-22

Interesting to see what appears to be the Rightpondian use of “sweet” coming in for a hammering after our discussions on the “Bah humbug” thread.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2008 04:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1253
Joined  2007-03-21
bayard - 09 January 2008 12:35 AM

Interesting to see what appears to be the Rightpondian use of “sweet” coming in for a hammering after our discussions on the “Bah humbug” thread.

It’s not the Rightpondian use that the Lake Superior University is objecting to.  It’s the slang usage by kids--presumably American kids-- to mean “really cool, awesome”.  Sometimes pronounced, “Saa-weet.” I didn’t know that it became popular in South Park, but I know I hear it there a lot.

The lead sentence in that entry, “Too many sweets will make you sick. . .” is a play on the two meanings.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2008 06:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  710
Joined  2007-02-07

does Wordorigins also discuss yearly lists of proposed banished words?

We discuss pretty much everything at one time or another. Welcome to the board.

I thought the List of Banished Words was mildly amusing but just as silly, as a whole, as the things they rant against. Language seems to be one of those things that people want to own and I don’t understand that. I think the way language is constantly changing is sweet. I feel sorry for people who have ever said in earnest, “There’s no such word.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2008 07:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4609
Joined  2007-01-03

With these WOTY lists, does Wordorigins also discuss yearly lists of proposed banished words?
Lake Superior State University was the first to publish such a list, beginning in 1975 and I’ve always found it… interesting.

I don’t find them interesting. I find them smug, elitist, and lacking linguistic awareness.

Such lists are populated with the same pet peeves year after year--yes “pet peeves.” That’s what they are. Lists of things some curmudgeon doesn’t like, almost invariably for idiosyncratic reasons.

I actually think such efforts actually retard good writing skills. Since they’re not based on any overarching linguistic, literary, or aesthetic principles, they promote the idea that certain arbitrary terms are “bad” without any deeper understanding as to how to make writing and speech more beautiful and effective.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 January 2008 11:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  115
Joined  2007-02-24

I remember when ads on radio kept referring to web sites with the “www” and “.com” added at the end. I hated it then. I hardly notice it now. Once we get used to using a word or phrase, it is no longer anoying.

Profile
 
 
   
 
 
‹‹ TURNCOAT      I could / couldn't care less ››