Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Buzzwords of 2008

The Buzzwords of 2008 is a New York Times article by Mark Leibovich and Grant Barrett about the words that made it big in 2008.

According to the article, "Grant Barrett is a lexicographer specializing in slang and new words. He is a co-host of the public radio program 'A Way With Words' and head of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society. Here are some of the words he tracked this year."

For some reason, they illustrated said words in a horrid font but with interesting patterns. The list included some compound words, and seemed skewed towards politics. My favorites:

1) FAIL: Largely used online, this is a verb turned into a mass noun, as in “A bucket of fail.” Common forms include epic fail, meaning a huge overall tendency toward failure or a great example of failure, and FAIL! as an interjection or derogation. Often an antonym of win, seen online in forms like “Full of win!” which means, 'It’s good!'

2) Terrorist Fist Jab: A knuckle-to-knuckle fist bump, or “dap,” traditionally performed between two black people as a sign of friendship, celebration or agreement. It was called the “terrorist fist jab” by the newscaster E. D. Hill, formerly of Fox News. The name was taken up by opponents of Barack Obama, who is prone to do the bump with members of his family. He and his wife, Michelle, were featured making the gesture in a cartoon on the cover of The New Yorker in July. The expression is now used ironically across the political spectrum.

3) Caribou Barbie: A nickname for the former vice-presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.

Enjoy your last day of 2008!
(From The Kottke)

No comments: