Kofi's hat

Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Top Words and Catchphrases of 2006

The Global Language Monitor has listed the top ten words of 2006, with sustainable out on top. The Monitor notes that the "term has moved into the mainstream." It's true that while it's still often used in an environmental context, it's also now used to describe everything from job growth to parent/child relationships.

Their #2 choice seems odd, though. Infonaut? "Those who blithely travel along the 'infobahn'", according to The Monitor, are infonauts. This is labeled as commentary, not a definition, which leaves an open question: is someone an infonaut if they travel along the infobahn with a total absence of blitheness? Also, who are the people using that term and could they please stop? Does it make them feel like astronauts? It shouldn't. Fortunately, I've very rarely encountered this faux-word.

The top catchphrase, on the other hand, was nearly-unavoidable in 2006. It's "stay the course". On its heels: "If I did it". That's a catchphrase? Then again, an emoticon is in third place, specifically #-), the wasted emoticon. War, vicious double-murder, and being wasted -- what an awesome timecapsule. Others in the top 10: Global Warming, Keeping Parents Clueless, Brokeback Mountain, and "You're going to Hollywood!" Absent: "At the end of the day", which people seem to say a lot more often than "You're going to Hollywood!"

=^..^=, the cat emoticon only made it to seventh place on the list of top Global YouthSpeak words. Yoof Speak, "a Pan Asian term for YouthSpeak" is allegedly the most popular word among the kids. I like to think I know how to talk to the kids. While I immediately recognized that cat as not only a cat, but as a popular cat emoticon, I don't recall ever hearing or seeing a kid of any age using the expression "Yoof Speak." I suspect some sort of ballot-box stuffing may have occurred in an attempt to popularize the phrase in connection with a business enterprise. However, it's possible the expression is used more often in Asian countries, where I rarely "rap" with kids.

Darfur was the top name this year, and in a repeat victory, O.K. was the most-spoken word on the planet. If someone wanted to try to popularize some other word to try to overtake O.K., "yeah" might have the best shot.

2005's top two words were refugee and tsunami, and the top "phrases" (they didn't call them catchphrases then) were "out of the mainstream" and "bird flu"/"avian flu".

Top ten word and catchphrase lists below - commentary on each entry and several other lists at The Global Language Monitor.

The Top Ten Words of 2006:

1. Sustainable
2. Infonaut
3. Hiki Komori
4. Planemo
5. Netroots
6. Londonistan
7. Brokeback (Mountain)
8. Ethanol
9. Corruption
10. Chinese (adj.)

The Top Catchphrases for 2006:

1. Stay the Course
2. If I Did it
3. # - )
4. Airline Pulp
5. Serial Texter
6. Global Warming
7. Keeping Parents Clueless
8. Brokeback Mountain
9. Come and Get it Fast
10. "You're going to Hollywood!"

Blancmange - I've Seen the Word (available on Platinum Collection)


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