Saturday, January 10, 2009

ADS WotY: bailout

Seeing bailout win the Word of the Year vote is kinda like seeing the regular season leader win the championship: it's a deserved but boring win. It already won the Merriam-Webster championship. So at least the ADS gives us some other categories to keep it interesting.

MOST USEFUL: Barack Obama

It's not a political statement. It's about the words. Barack the vote. Can you smell what barack is cooking? Obamanation. Obamania. &c.

Among the nominees: Palinesquepertaining to a person who has extended themselves beyond their expertise, thereby bringing ridicule upon a serious matter. The birth of a legacy.

MOST CREATIVE: recombobulation area

An area at Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee in which passengers that have just passed through security screening can get their clothes and belongings back in order. I hadn't heard this one but I think the idea of general recombobulation could stick.

MOST UNNECESSARY: moofing (Mobile Out of OFfice)

Shouldn't that be Mooo? Or Mooo-ing? Or Moooficing? In her tweet report Erin McKean calls it a stupid PR-created word. Agreed.

Bromance was nominated and got some votes but I like the word. It's relevant and it sounds right and it's got some miles put on it. Brian— Casey— you guys make this one work.

MOST OUTRAGEOUS: terrorist fist jab

E. D. Hill is an idiot.

MOST EUPHEMISTIC: scooping technician

A pooper scooper (agent, not instrument).

The runner up, age-doping, doesn't seem too euphemistic to me. Had I been there, I would have voted for thought showers, used in place of brainstorming out of respect to epileptics. I'd roll my eyes but that might be offensive too.


It's a term used to describe infrastructure projects that can be started quickly when Obama's economic stimulus package is enacted writes Ben Zimmer rooting for this word. The problem I have with it is that I keep imagining that the shoveling refers to something else. Phrases like get your shovel ready or you're gonna need a shovel have contaminated this term. To me it sounds almost like the opposite of what it means.


An appropriate category for Hillary's bitter supporters


Anything but.

Hockey mom was nominated and I'd say it's as good as soccer mom considering kids in the states don't play either.

1 comment:

  1. "Shovel-ready" always sounds like that to me, too. I wish they'd picked a different tool.


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