07 January 2008

Word of the Year

Here are the Words of the Year since 1990, as selected at the beginning of each year by the American Dialect Society. I know nothing about this group, but it seems like they have been way off base with these selections, or I'm not looking at this right. Should a Word of the Year be most reflective of that year or a new word/term that will be used the most in future years? I think only a couple have had longevity.

1990: Bushlips insincere political rhetoric
1991: Mother of All greatest
1992: Not! expression of disagreement
1993: Information Superhighway the national and international network of computers
1994: Tie: cyber, pertaining to computers and electronic communication, and morph, to change form
1995: Another tie (lots of copy on this one) World Wide Web, also known as the Web, WWW, W3, refers to the newly prominent resource on the Internet. “It seems to us to be clearly the most important of these items and the one that will have the greatest future impact on both language and society,” said John and Adele Algeo, conductors of Among the New Words in the American Dialect Society quarterly journal American Speech, when they placed World-Wide Web in nomination.

Newt, meaning to make aggressive changes as a newcomer, but also found in combinations like Newt World Order and Newtspeak, reflects the new prominence of Newt Gingrich, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Newt was nominated by David Barnhart, editor of the new-words quarterly Barnhart Dictionary Companion.
1996: mom as in soccer mom
1997: millennium bug
1998: e-
1999: Y2K
2000: chad
2001: 9-11
2002: weapons of mass destruction and its abbreviation WMD
2003: metrosexual: noun, a fashion-conscious heterosexual male, or, as coiner Mark Simpson put it, a man who “has clearly taken himself as his own love object.”
2004: red state, blue state, purple state, n., together, a representation of the American political
map
2005: truthiness refers to the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true
2006: plutoed is to demote or devalue someone or something
2007: Subprime is an adjective used to describe a risky or less than ideal loan, mortgage, or investment

3 Comments:

Blogger The Wife said...

Yes, some of these are completely lame. Speaking of which, I'm surprised that "lame" isn't on here.

I wanted "bluetool" to make it - what you call a guy (like my husband) who constantly wears his bluetooth headset around.

And "subprime" was probably the lamest of all.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Craig, I like the Word of the Year thing and I definitely think "subprime" is as good as anything for 2007. Definitely something that very few people ever spoke about before this year and yet now everyone and their mother seem to know about it.

Finally fixed your link since you left pokerworks -- where was I for that one?? -- so hopefully can start sending some people over here to see the good stuff you write.

Hope you had a great new years.

4:02 PM  
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