Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Vernacularly speaking

Compliments of Slate magazine (and Reginald van Osteen):

Twelve months, 10 words.

Let's say your best friend, a news junkie in withdrawal, just got back
from a year in Antarctica and has asked you to summarize this year's
headlines in 10 words or less. How will you respond?

You probably couldn't do better than Merriam-Webster Online's list of
the top 10 most looked-up words of 2005.

In order of popularity: 1) integrity, 2) refugee, 3) contempt, 4)
filibuster, 5) insipid, 6) tsunami, 7) pandemic, 8) conclave, 9) levee,
10) inept.

Meanwhile, here's some former staples of American vocabulary I'd like to see make a comeback in '06:

Clusterfuck (so aptly descriptive of so many modern frustrations: "Atlanta traffic is a major clusterfuck") and;

Igmo (the combination of ignorant and moron: "Jessica Simpson is an igmo.")

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