Wednesday, November 17, 2010


You know the year is coming to a close when you're seeing Top 10 lists without Letterman around.  Every magazine puts out a list of the Top 10 records, newsmakers, events, and ham sandwiches of the year.
In fact, someone will likely put out a Top 10 list of the Top 10 Top 10 lists. 

And then, where will we be?

So how about this one?  The Global Language Monitor presents its list of the Top 10 words of the year "based on its annual global survey of the English language." (I only hope they didn't ask a lot of the people I hear fracturing the language on a daily basis, writing me emails about how "your going to want to here this!" and speaking in sentences that end in both prepositions and complete lapses of sense.)

There are currently more than 1.58 billion English-speaking people in the world, according to the good people at the GLM. Man, you'd think that two of them would know the difference between "infer" and "imply," but anyway.

Of course, you realize that if just one person alive right now would suddenly decide to stop speaking English in favor of some other tongue, there would only be 1.5799999999 billion of us English-speakers.  So thanks for sticking around.

Here’s the top 10 list:
1.  Spillcam - that sad nightly-news reminder of all the oil pumping into the Gulf of Mexico because imperfect people made some bad mistakes

2.  Vuvuzela - that annoying plastic horn that made the World Cup sound as if the cicadas had returned

3.  The Narrative - the term was used in the autobiography of Frederick Douglass and is now a word used instead of saying "here's the plan for our group"

4.  Refudiate - The Thrilla from Wasilla thought this was a word, and then she thought we'd be foolish enough to think she was real cute and coined a clever neologism.  Nuh-uh

5.   Guido and Guidette -  denizens of the Jersey Shore who are mainly interested in GTL (groceries, Twitter, and lunch)

6.   Deficit - U. O. Me.  We O. Everyone

7.  Snowmaggeddon (and ‘Snowpocalypse’) - we had a couple of blizzards in February-  did you hear?  If not, you can go down by the maternity ward and hear more babies than most Novembers.  Just sayin'

8.  3-D  - The magnificence of Johnny Knoxville becomes all the more magnificent when stuff comes flying right at you from a 3-D Jackass screen

9.  Shellacking - what the president said his party received in the election.  Shellac wears off every two years.

10.  Simplexity - what a perfect demonstration of overly complicated language.  Complex: complexity :: simple: simplexity. 

I had my money on "synecdoche," which is a term meaning that part of something is spoken of to mean the whole, making the list.  I would have won a set of wheels had that happened, but I guess I'll just have to keep pounding the bricks.

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