Thursday, February 03, 2011

WORDS OF THE YEAR

from World Wide Words:

 

 

WORDS OF THE YEAR

 

As every year, the granddaddy of these annual votefests, the one from the American Dialect Society, took place in January) at its annual conference.

 

Winners were elected in various categories.

 

Most Useful Word of the Year: NOM

(a popular online term for yummy food, borrowed from the noise that the Cookie Monster character on Sesame Street makes as he devours another cookie)

 

 Most Creative: PREHAB

(the pre-emptive enrolment in a rehab facility to prevent relapse of an abuse problem, invented in February after Charlie Sheen checked into a clinic)

 

 Most Unnecessary: REFUDIATE

(an easy winner, the notorious blend of "refute" and "repudiate" that was used by Sarah Palin on Twitter)

 

 Most Outrageous: GATE RAPE

(a pejorative term for an invasive new US airport security pat-down procedure)

 

 Most Euphemistic: KINETIC EVENT

(the Pentagon term for violent attacks on troops in Afghanistan)

 

 Most Likely to Succeed: TREND

(a term particularly of Twitter, meaning to exhibit a burst of online buzz)

 

 Least Likely to Succeed: CULTUROMICS

(a statistical approach to word research using a set of about five million books digitised by Google, the value of which many linguists are deeply sceptical about)

 

 Fan Word of the Year: GLEEK

(a fan of the television show Glee)

 

And finally - drumroll, please, maestro - as the overall Word of the Year for 2010 the American Dialect Society voted for APP

(an abbreviated form of "application", a software program for a computer or phone operating system, which has been around for ages but which burst into renewed vigour in 2010 because of the vast number of little applications that have become available for smartphones).

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