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Webster's New World Word of the Year for 2009

Posted by Whitmore, January 11, 2010 09:40pm | Post a Comment
Dictionaries are as competitive as any cross-town sports rivalry. I suspect there are fewer incidents of stealing mascots, but the urge to kick your opponent’s ass from one goalpost to the other is eternal. The Word of the Year is a nasty, ego driven business. It’s ruthless. Not quite a bloodsport -- less cockfighting, fewer carcasses -- but intense none the less. Anyway, Part One is here and Part Two is there. Now, Part three -Webster's New World Dictionaries 2009 Word of the Year- Webster’s New World® College Dictionary Word of the Year for 2009 is actually a phrase, but somehow the word gods allowed its selection.
 
Drum roll please!
 
The Word of the Year is: Distracted Driving.
 
So to get into the word-groove of Webster’s New World’s 2009 pick, I’m writing this in traffic as I drive. Drove right by one motorcycle cop already, he never saw my magic thumbs in action. Oh oh!... close call, almost side-swiped the 181 bus on Hollywood Blvd ... OK, now I’m at a red light ... anyway -- I’m blogging this on my Blackberry driving to Amoeba for yet another day in the Lair of the 45’s ... left down Vine Ave, I see the chess playing guy is back in front of the Montalban Theater ... right on Sunset, maybe, one of these days ... some people take their sweet ass time crossing the street. Wow, one of LA’s finest just gave me a dirty look but kept on going ... now I’m pulling into the parking garage ... Damnit! Dropped the phone under my seat for a second, its not easy making that sharp right turn  ... anyway ... word of the year ... actually just a minute, just remembered -- CrackBerry, a mocking term for 'addictive' BlackBerry use was Webster's Word of the Year back in 2006 ... anyway, almost finished here ... looking for parkin ... Oops! not good ...
 
Distracted Driving is defined as another consequence of what many are guilty of, using digital devices on the go and not paying attention to what they need to be paying attention too, like driving and where they are going and whether or not other people driving might be heading for that same exact, finite location simultaneously. The term is said to be entering the lexicon of lawyers and barristers around the world. Webster calls distracted driving a "sign of the times" and a natural corollary of our ongoing love affair with all things digital and mobile, slick and shiny. The New Oxford American Dictionary also had a word for a similar condition -- intexticated: “distraction caused by texting on a cellphone while driving a vehicle.” Webster likes to point out that distracted driving is actually a crime in many places around the world, but here in the good ol’ U.S. of A., I believe it’s only a national state of mind.
 
Runners-ups for 2009 Word of the Year at Webster’s New World were:
 
cloud computing: Computer operations in which documents and data are created, edited, and stored remotely on servers and accessed by the user via an Internet connection (this term is so well established that it will likely be added to the annual update of the College Dictionary in 2010).
 
wallet biopsy: Applies mostly to health care and the means of investigating before medical service is provided, of a patient’s ability to pay, enabling the health care provider to decide whether free or discounted medical care is appropriate; a term fueled in part by the debate on national health care reform.
 
By the way, the 2008 Webster’s New World Word of the Year was -- overshare (verb), “divulging excessive personal information, as in a blog or broadcast interview, prompting reactions ranging from alarmed discomfort to approval.”

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year 2009

Posted by Whitmore, January 7, 2010 11:58am | Post a Comment
2009 word of the year
The 2009 Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year choice is based on actual searches on the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary and Online Thesaurus. (And is a very different selection from Part One's New Oxford American Dictionary.) Last September, just a few days after South Carolina’s Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst of “you lie” during President Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress, this winning word exploded to the top of the charts like a bloated belly on a dead frog on a hot blacktop parking lot of a Walmart in August.
 
The 2009 Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year  ... drum roll please:
 
Admonish (transitive verb), “to express warning or disapproval to especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner.”
 
In response to one of the year’s many contentious moments of buffalodung, the U.S. House of Representatives announced plans to “admonish” Rep. Wilson and his teabagging Tourettes. Somehow the word was understood to be a technical or even an official term, and kept on popping up in media coverage like a shiny new, three-dimensional special effect.
 
Filling out rest of the Top Ten Search List for their definitions in Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary:joe wilson you lie
 
2-emaciated
3-empathy
4-furlough
5-inaugurate
6-nugatory
7-pandemic
8-philanderer
9-repose
10-rogue
 
Merriam-Webster's has been selecting words annually since 2003:
 
2008’s word was Bailout - “A rescue from financial distress.” 
2007: W00t - “Expression of joy or triumph, or an obvious victory; abbreviation of 'We Owned the Other Team,' originating from computer-gaming subculture.”
2006: Truthiness - “Truth that comes from the gut, not books.” Popularized by Stephen Colbert; selected as Word of the Year by Merriam-Webster's online users.
2005: Integrity - “Firm adherence to a code; incorruptibility.”
2004: Blog - “A Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer, short for Weblog.”
2003: Democracy - perhaps a dull word, but every bit as essential as it is dull.

New Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year for 2009

Posted by Whitmore, January 4, 2010 10:20pm | Post a Comment
2009 Word of the year

Once again we’ve reached that wonderful time of the year, time when several Dictionaries announce their Word of the Year. We’ll start with the New Oxford American Dictionary's typically imaginative selection, whose picks are as often jeered by skeptical wordsmiths as they are lauded by sexy lexicographers throughout the English speaking world.
 
Drum roll please: The 2009 Word of the Year is:
 
Unfriend (verb), “to remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook or Myspace.” Personally, I always preferred the term “destalking” ...
 
Some of the other new words considered by the New Oxford American Dictionary for the 2009 Word of the Year were:
 
Hashtag  - a # [hash] sign added to a word or phrase that enables Twitter users to search for tweets (postings on the Twitter site) that contain similarly tagged items and view thematic sets
intexticated  - distracted because texting on a cellphone while driving a vehicle
netbook - a small, very portable laptop computer with limited memory
paywall - a way of blocking access to a part of a website which is only available to paying subscribersunfriend
sexting - the sending of sexually explicit texts and pictures by cellphone
freemium - a business model in which some basic services are provided for free, with the aim of enticing users to pay for additional, premium features or content
funemployed - taking advantage of one’s newly unemployed status to have fun or pursue other interests
zombie bank - a financial institution whose liabilities are greater than its assets, but which continues to operate because of government support
birther - a conspiracy theorist who challenges President Obama’s birth certificate
choice mom - a person who chooses to be a single mother
death panel - a theoretical body that determines which patients deserve to live, when care is rationed
teabagger - a person who protests President Obama’s tax policies and stimulus package, often through local demonstrations known as “Tea Party” protests (in allusion to the Boston Tea Party of 1773)
brown state - a US state that does not have strict environmental regulations
green state - a US state that has strict environmental regulations
ecotown - a town built and run on eco-friendly principles
deleb - a dead celebrity
tramp stamp - a tattoo on the lower back, usually on a woman

Global Language Monitor's 2008's Top Word, Phrase, Name

Posted by Whitmore, December 12, 2008 04:19pm | Post a Comment

So far we have seen competing Dictionaries select “Hypermiling” and / or “bailout,” as the 2008 Word of the Year, but…
 
The Global Language Monitor not only selects the Top Word of the Year but also the Top Phrase and Top Name of the year… the whole shit and caboodle right here all the way from the fine city of Austin, Texas! Ladies and gentleman once again … the Top Word for 2008:
 
Change
 
The Top Phrase: “Financial Tsunami
 
And the Top Name: “Barack Obama
 
These results are from the annual survey of the English language from the Global Language Monitor. By the way, the estimated number of words in the English language now stands at 998,751. And English-speakers world wide now number about 1.58 billion people.
 
The analysis was completed using “GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), the proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet. The words are tracked in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets, factoring in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum and velocity.”
 
The GLM’s top selections for 2007 were all ‘green’ oriented:  “Hybrid” was the Top Word, “Climate Change” was the Top Phrase, and the Top Name was Al Gore, who won the Nobel Prize for his efforts on Global Warming through his film An Inconvenient Truth.
 
So here are the Global Language Monitor’s Top Ten Words for 2008:
 
Change - The top political buzzword of the 2008 Presidential campaign.
Bailout - Would have been higher on the list but didn’t really appear in the media until September.
Obamamania - Describing the worldwide reaction to Barack Obama’s campaign and victory in the US presidential race.
Greenwashing - Repositioning a product to stress its Earth-friendly attributes.
Surge - Military and political strategy often cited as reducing violence in Iraq.
Derivative - Exotic financial instruments used to cleverly package junk-grade debt.
Subprime - Mortgages that were packaged as derivatives.
Foreclosure - The dead end-result of the sub-prime mess.
Phelpsian - Word coined to describe Michael Phelps winning eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.
Chinglish - The Chinese/English language hybrid that Beijing tried to stamp out before the Olympics began.
 
The Top Ten Phrases for 2008:
 
Financial Tsunami - Describing the worldwide financial apocalypse stemming from the subprime mortgage debacle.
Global Warming - The second most talked about buzzword in the Presidential Campaign.
Yes We Can - Yeah baby!
Lame Duck - The lamest, duckiest of all, but delicious in a sauce of ground cinnamon, allspice, ginger, garlic, chili powder with a tbsp soy sauce and honey on a bed of saffron rice.
Working Class Whites - Apparently code for whites who are working class. 
“It is, what it is” - This year’s “unfortunately, those are the facts ma’am.”
Lip Synching - From the little girl, Lin Miaoke, who didn’t sing the song the whole world saw her sing at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.
Price of oil - Today a barrel of oil was about $47.86 on the N.Y. Mercantile Exchange.
Super Tuesday - Super maybe, but not a hell of a lot got settled that Tuesday.
Suddenness Happens - Top Chinglish Phrase from the Beijing Olympics.
 
The Top Ten Names for 2008:
 
Barack Obama 
George W. Bush 
Michael Phelps
Hilary Clinton
Vladimir Putin 
Bono
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 
Sarah Palin
John McCain 
Beyonce
 
And just for the hell of it, the Top Celeb Couple of 2008: Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni (replacing David Beckham and Posh Spice). The French President and his former supermodel wife were married on February 2, 2008.

The Merriam-Webster‘s Dictionary 2008 Word of the Year:

Posted by Whitmore, December 10, 2008 04:06pm | Post a Comment

You can call it the hedonistic hype of hyperbole, a mêlée or metaphors, the clash of colossal lexicons, but each year competing Dictionaries select a “Word of the Year,” so far in 2008 we’ve seen the New Oxford American Dictionary choose the word “hypermiling” … but today we listen in awe to a new utterance ...

Ladies and Gentlemen, in this corner! Weighing in at three consonants and four vowels … a Noun … The Merriam-Webster‘s Dictionary pick for the 2008 Word of the Year:

“Bailout”

Bailout is defined as "a rescue from financial distress."
Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year selection began in 2003. In their freshman year they settled on, in my opinion, a slightly anemic choice: “Democracy.” However, number two on the list in ‘03 was “Quagmire,” a favorite word of mine and patron to my mindset and lifestyle. But in each year since, the Merriam-Webster selection has often proven to be excellent and playful. The 2004 word was “blog.” In 2006 the word of the year was “Truthiness” coined by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report, the definition: “Truth coming from the gut, not books; preferring to believe what you wish to believe, rather than what is known to be true.” And last year's surprise choice included a couple of zeroes in its spelling: “w00t,” meaning “An Expression of joy after triumph or for no reason at all."

Merriam-Webster picks its Word of the Year by considering the number of online searches for an unusual term and how much that word has slipped into everyday conversation. Bailout hit the top of the Google charts after this year’s unprecedented financial meltdown and apocalypse. $700 billion worth of “what the hell” compelled millions of web surfers to lookup the word within just a few weeks of the September Banking bailout announcement.

Several of the terms in the Merriam-Webster’s Top Ten were the direct result of the other big news story of the year, the Presidential campaign: “maverick,” “bipartisan,” “rogue,” “socialism,” and “vet.”

Here are Merriam-Webster’s Top Ten Words for 2008:

1 - Bailout (noun): a rescue from financial distress
2 - Vet (transitive verb):  to evaluate for possible approval or acceptance
3 - Socialism (noun): any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
4 - Maverick (noun): an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party
5 - Bipartisan (adjective): marked by or involving cooperation, agreement, and compromise between two major political parties
6 - Trepidation (noun): timorous uncertain agitation
7 - Precipice (noun): a hazardous situation
8 - Rogue (noun): a mischievous person
9 - Misogyny (noun): a hatred of women
10 - Turmoil (noun): a state or condition of extreme confusion, agitation, or commotion

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