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Sunday, December 23, 2021

Grant Barrett, of Double-Tongued Dictionary and “A Way with Words” fame, favors New York Times readers with the contenders for 2007’s “Word of the Year” crown.

Barrett disclaims this list as being merely partial, and indeed, it’s something of a mixed bag: It includes phrases that aren’t particularly resonating, but instead found their way into the newsstream more than expected. For instance, I don’t see anything noteworthy about “forever stamp”.

I’m not going to dissect the entrants on this list on merit, or lack thereof (although I’m tempted, based on the surprising reaction I got when I dissed the fraud selection of “plutoed” as a WOTY). But I’m going to cherry-pick ones that found their way onto this blog:

1. Astronaut Diaper - A key element in that bizarre NASA love triangle from February. I didn’t focus on the undergarment, but without i, I doubt I would have written about the subsequent movie proposal, which itself took a turn for the weird.

2. Bacn - Non-critical email that you want to receive, but comes across as borderline spam. I found the pig-theming to be most amusing.

3. Crowdsource - A play on “outsourcing”, where you turn to input and efforts from Web-aggregated minds to accomplish a task. I used it to headline the efforts of British fans to pool money for buying a pro soccer team; additionally, this grew out of the “wisdom of crowds” concept that’s been kicked around for a couple of years now.

4. E-mail Bankruptcy - The act of deleting your entire inbox, including read and unread messages, in an attempt to get back to a manageable zero-base for email. Yup, it caught my eye, although more for what it didn’t address (spam) than what it did. Actually, this ties directly back to the afore-mentioned bacn, and the only reason I didn’t cite that was because this bankruptcy concept made the news before bacn did.

5. Exploding ARM - An adjustable rate mortgage with rates that soon rise beyond a borrower’s ability to pay. I missed out on this exact phraseology, but did bite on the alternative, “ARM-ageddon”.

6. -hawk - Catchall for a range of mohawk-ish hairstyles: Sanjaya’s fucked-up ponyhawk, the mohawk/afro hybrid that is the brohawk, and the fauxhawk, which I gave space to.

7. LOLcat - Fun with cat photos on the InterWeb. This one warranted not one, but two posts by yours truly.

8. Make It Rain - With dollar bills serving as raindrops. If it involves strip clubs, you just know I’m going to put a timestamp on it.

9. NINJA Loan - An acroynm for “No Income, No Job or Assets”, for the kind of volume-padding loan that precipitated the now-unfolding housing mess. I noted that it also dovetailed with the “silent but deadly” quality of your average ninja warrior.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 12/23/2007 02:18:29 PM
Category: Wordsmithing
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  1. I read that it “rained” at Baywalk on Christmas Night (See SPTimes article: Tumult Taints Baywalk”)

    Comment by Hunk Oman — 12/27/2007 @ 10:58:04 AM

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