Thursday, December 21, 2006

Yet "another" Word of the Year!

As we have said before, since both the Joker and the Thief are language teachers, they are quite interested in languages - primarily English and French, especially if it's a bit trival of course otherwise what os the fun of having a blog!)!
I often tell my students to look for words on the Web and Dictonary.com is one of the most popular free online dictionaries which they use a lot.

Recently, the Dictionary.com folks asked their users to nominate a word for their "2006 Word of the Year," and guess what?
Once again, "Truthiness", the word coined by Stephen Colbert (Coal-BEAR) on his Comedy Central show, won the vote. (see our post on Truthiness)
The guys behind Dictionary.com say that "8 of the first 10 words voted by people on Dictionary.com were coined on "The Colbert Report." and they’re not too happy."

"We were surprised by how many of our dictionary users are fans of the moderately popular fake political talk show, which is obviously reflected by the words they nominated," said Brian Kariger, CEO of Lexico Publishing Group. "In light of the evident voting irregularities, we are launching an investigation into our electronic vote counting procedures. Something needs to change before the next Word of the Year is chosen to preserve the dignity of this prestigious annual award."

Language.org has some doubts and insists that “resistance is futile” (see our note down below) when it comes to the power of the mighty Colbert Nation! Who cares anyway....

As for the New Oxford American Dictionary, their Word of the Year for 2006 is Carbon Neutral. They also had a couple of interesting new words (and new concepts) that didn’t know on their list :

  • elbow bump : a greeting in which two people touch elbows, recommended by the World Health Organization as an alternative to the handshake in order to reduce the spread of germs.
  • funner: an informal/nonstandard comparative of fun. (That one I find ugly!).

Now guess what is most searched-for word on Dictionary.com: LOVE! Amazing, isn’t it? So what does it mean, that people are so confused about love that they need to look it up?

Here are the top 10 words people searched for on Dictionary.com

  1. love
  2. affect
  3. effect
  4. good
  5. beautiful
  6. metaphor
  7. integrity
  8. experience
  9. irony
  10. happy

NOTE: "resistance is a futile" by the way is another major cultural meme. If you're not a Sci-Fi buff, you may not know... The expression refers to the phrase used by the Borg in Star Trek : The Next Generation. (The Borg are villain cyborgs who want to assimilate humans. They have also become a popular concept in today's culture and represent a mataphor for conformity. So if someone is called a "borg", it means they are slaves to conformity)


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