Monday, January 08, 2007

Let's Not Get "Plutoed"

Last year, The American Dialect Society hit my radar screen by selecting "truthiness" as its Word of the Year. (Merriam-Webster kicked up a bit more dust this year by also selecting truthiness, but I have to give the ADS kudos for being a first mover.)

This year, the ADS selected "plutoed" as its word of the year, defining the word in its rather funny press release as follows:

To pluto is to demote or devalue someone or something, as happened to the former planet Pluto when the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union decided Pluto no longer met its definition of a planet.

It's important to note that "climate canary" tied Plutoed in the initial voting and a run-off was required. (High drama, no doubt.) A climate canary is "an organism or species whose poor health or declining numbers hint at a larger environmental catastrophe on the horizon."

The ADS doesn't stop at a Word of the Year. There are winners in other categories, such as Most Useful, Most Creative and Most Outrageous.

These additional nominees/winners caught my eye:

Flog - A fake blog created by a corporation to promote a product or a television show (Ouch to Wal-Mart)
Murse - Man's purse
Boomeritis - Afflictions or injuries of Baby Boomers, caused by their age (Ouch to me)
Grup - A Gen-Xer who does not act his or her age

The ADS also displays nominations at its website. Professor Wayne Glowka (Georgia College and State University) is Chair of the ADS New Words Committee and when you read his hysterical and on-point nominations, you'll see why. My personal favorite from his list:

Ecosexual - A person choosing dates according to a partner's green habits

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