Google has been awarded the fairly impressive “Word of the Decade” from the American Dialect Society for the use of the noun “Google” as a verb, as in, “to Google something.”
The news comes via TomsHardware that, while Google managed to grab the word of the decade prize, “Tweet” has managed to become the word of the year, we’d imagine thanks to the unusually volume of coverage that news agencies have given Twitter over the last year or so. If nothing else, the fact that both the word of the year and word of the decade went to web-based companies is interesting.
We’re big fans of lists here in the office, so we thought we’d post a list of some of the various words and terms that have made the American Dialect Society’s shortlist for words and phrases that could have made it as word of the year this year.
Perhaps most interesting of the suggestions is the simple suffix, “er,” which is so often appended to one syllable words to describe a movement, as in the case of “birther,” “deather,” and “truther.” Each a little stranger than the last. Similarly, the use of the word “Fail” as an exclamation has made the list.
Perhaps the most interesting and curious is the turn of phrase, “Dracula sneeze,” which apparently describes the process by which a person covers their “mouth with the crook of one’s elbow when sneezing, seen as similar to popular portrayals of the vampire Dracula, in which he hides the lower half of his face with a cape.”
We were curious to see that both “blog” and “Wi-fi” were also on the list of contenders for word of the decade, though in truth neither seemed very likely to beat Google. We were also happy to see “sext” on the list of “most outrageous” words to emerge this year.