Monday, January 03, 2011

From 'Bushlips' to 'static kill'. OK?

On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that linguists from all over the world will be descending on Pittsburgh later this week to discuss, amongst other things, (naturally) Pittsburghese, endangered languages, and linguistic map-making. They'll also be deciding on the word of the year.
Previous favourites have been: 'google', the word of the decade last year; 'plutoed', meaning to be reduced in value; and, from the South African World Cup event, 'vuvuzela' – I'm sure you can remember that one.
In 1999, it turns out the society voted on the word of the year, the decade, the century and the millennium and that the winners were, respectively, 'Y2K', 'web', 'jazz' and 'she'. And, if you’re wondering about the word 'she', it didn't exist before the year 1000, though no-one is quite sure whether it's derived from Old English or Old Norse. You might also be interested in knowing that, according to Allan Metcalf, executive secretary of the American Dialect Society, the USA's favourite word ever is 'OK'. OK?
Thanks to Mr Verb for giving me the heads-up on this one!

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