Feeds

'Google' crowned word of the decade

Epic linguistic fail

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

The American Dialect Society has crowned the verb "google" as its Word of the Decade, while honouring "tweet" as its 2009 Word of the Year.

Mercifully, the "linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, grammarians, historians, researchers, writers, authors, editors, professors, university students and independent scholars" who vote on the matter "act in fun and do not pretend to be officially inducting words into the English language".

Which is just as well, since google saw off strong opposition from "blog". Grant Barrett, chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society, said: “I really thought blog would take the honors in the word of the decade category, but more people google than blog, don’t they? Plus, many people think ‘blog’ just sounds ugly. Maybe Google's trademark lawyers would have preferred it, anyway.”

Other contenders for the Word of the Decade were "text" (SMS), "9/11" and "Wi-Fi", while CBS describes "un-" as the "decade's dominant prefix".

Doubtless there are those who consider words such as "unfriend" a good example of epic "fail", and they'll be delighted to learn that the American Dialect Society considers the "noun or interjection used when something is egregiously unsuccessful" as the "Most Useful" term of the last ten years.

Chillingly, American Dialect Society executive council member Ben Zimmer told CBS that "un-" represents "a metaphor for the decade". He offered: "It extends into social relations. It has big social ramifications because the whole concept of friendship is changing."

Other high points gracing the society's press release (pdf) include "Any name of the decade 2000-2009, such as Naughties, Aughties, Oughties", considered the "Least Likely to Succeed".

Agreeably, PETA can also take a bow for spawning the choice of "Most Unnecessary" term with "sea kittens", an unlikely appellation for what people generally call "fish". ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'
Spooks ask Dabbsy to suggest a nice hotel with pool
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!
If you're reading this email, I am no longer alive
Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land
Bold, barmy Brit adventurer Nick Hancock escapes North Atlantic islet
Russia sends SEX-CRAZED GECKOS to SPAAAAACE!
In space... no one can hear you're green...
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.