Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Word of the Year

Merriam-Webster is currently soliciting votes for their annual Word of the Year. Last year's word was Stephen Colbert's coinage, "truthiness," beating out words like corruption, terrorism and quagmire:
By an overwhelming 5 to 1 majority vote, you awarded top honors to "truthiness," a word Stephen Colbert first introduced on the debut broadcast of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report in October 2005. And believe us; both Merriam-Webster and Mr. Colbert got a lot of mileage out of that particular choice—thank you!
This year, the options are as follows:

apathetic
babymoon
blamestorm
charlatan
conundrum
cruft
eleemosynary
facebook
hypocrite
linkability
melancholy
Pecksniffian
pretentious
pugnacious
quixotic
sardoodledom
sputum
subpoena
vanity sizing
w00t

The word Pecksniffian comes from Charles Diskens' novel Martin Chuzzlewit. It's after the character Seth Pecksniff, and it means "unctuously hypocritical : pharisaical."

eleemosynary has to do with charity.

I've never seen nor heard the word w00t, which Merriam-Webster says means: "an interjection expressing joy (it could be after a triumph, or for no reason at all); similar in use to the word 'yay'." It's not a word as far as I'm c0ncerned.

sardoodledom means "mechanically contrived plot structure and stereotyped or unrealistic characterization in drama : STAGINESS, MELODRAMA." It comes from a blending of the word doodle and the name of the 19th c. French playwright Victorien Sardou, who Merriam-Webster says was "criticized by [English playwright] G. B. Shaw for the supposed staginess of his plays."

Sardoodledom has my vote for 2007 Word of the Year. But I'm guessing either blamestorm or facebook will win on account of their topicality. Which word would you vote for?

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1 Comments:

Blogger Christopher said...

Hmm. I don't like any of them. Facebook will win. If I could nominate one word it would be Favred, a play on World of Warcraft's infamous pwned and the somewhat strange spelling of Brett Favre's last name. You'll often find the term scrawled upon large pieces of dirty cardboard, held aloft by zany Packer fans. The TV cameras flock to these stupid signs each time Favre throws yet another touchdown pass. You've Been Favred!, the signs tell us. Yes, indeed we have.

7:41 PM  

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