Wordsmathering

aandm.jpgSeems there should be a word like wordsmathering to describe the blending in of new words into our language, a cross between wordsmithing and an activity like slathering frosting on cake, smushing the gooey stuff all around to cover the surface.  aj.jpgaj.jpg

Well, the folks at the American Dialect Society have been busy, tallying votes for THE word of the year, and the emergent victor was subprime, undoubtedly winning for familiarity factor, with its ceaselessly being bandied about in the press.  Many of the words nominated for this distinction reflect current news events, such as last year’s winner to be plutoed, to pluto, to be demoted or devalued,following the debate about whether this was a necessary humiliation for one of our galaxy’s fondest celebrity bodies.  Others are great tongue-in-cheek social commentary, such as “Cambodian accessory,” accessoryfrom that must-have item to sling on the hip of a different celebrity body, aka, Angelina Jolie, who is never photographed these days with her gel-styled haired adopted Cambodian kid and other cuties in tow.

It is a list worth following, as many of the words proposed during the almost two decade the Society’s been assessing these words has become accepted into common parlance.  For example, 1990’s entries included politically correct, PC, adhering to principles of left-wing social concern, from ’95: starter marriage, a first marriage not expected to be the last, and 1996’s Ebonics, African-American vernacular English.  Yet other, though quite amusing, slunk into oblivion (or maybe I just travel in the wrong circles), like crotchfruit, a child or children, and whale-tail, the appearance of thong or g-string underwear above the waistband, from 1995. 

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Published in: on January 14, 2008 at 7:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

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