January 10, 2007

The American Dialect Society has just published its 16th annual Words of the Year list. Let’s not get carried away by this list. The winner – Plutoed – received 57 votes! A bit subjective I think, but fun nonetheless. Being an American list, there are of course entries which this Australian has never come across, though the press release explains all.

While the list is interesting in itself, the press release also includes the winners from previous years which I find even more interesting. Interesting for what seems to have stayed in the language as well as those that never made it.

Obviously I am interested that equal first in 1994 was cyber and the word most likely to succeed in 2002 was blog, but I note that many other words from the early 90’s have stuck – morph, snail mail, grunge, bungee jumping and politically correct. What is interesting too is the mini history that goes with the winning words. Perhaps a dinner party game could be to guess the year of the following Words of the Year.

Pokémania, Lewinsky (verb), Mother of all …, Metrosexual, Ethnic cleansing, Rollerblade, Senior moment

(1999, 1999, 1991, 2003, 1990, 1991, 1998)

Or guess the meaning of these.

Potty parity, Sylvanshine, Food insecure, Exit bag, Neuticles

I’ll leave you to find those on the press-release at The American Dialect Society

I was pleased to find that multislacking from the 1998 list did not make it to general use. It means the same as cyberslacking but is not such a pleasant word.


One Response to “Plutoed”

  1. […] a piece I wrote about new words, I mused on what words from the past would still be in use today and suggested that words can go as […]

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