SO, WHAT’S THE GOOD WORD?

Good question — and one we rarely hear nowadays. According to wordorigins.org, the title question “was popular back in the 40s and 50s but, like so many other things, it was obliterated by the 60s.” I bring this up now because, as it happens, the annual conference (Jan 7-10) of the American Dialect Society is shutting down (and up) today, and is announcing the 2015 Word of the Year. Here are the winners for the past decade:

2005 – truthiness  2010 – app
2006 – plutoed       2011 – occupy
2007 – subprime    2012 – hashtag
2008 – bailout        2013 – because
2009 – tweet           2014 – #blacklivesmatter

Speaking of American Dialect (or any other English language dialect) reminds me of what eminent Professor Henry Higgins had to say about it:

Looking over those past Word of the Year winners, the one that, for me, caused pause was 2006’s “plutoed” — until I remembered that Pluto was down-graded by astronomers from a planet to a dwarf planet, or plutoid. Prediction: the 2016 Word of the Year winner will be “trumpoed,” in the expectation that planet Trump will be found to be little more than a gaseous bag of hot air, or trumpoid.

But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. My nomination for 2015 Word of the Year is “affluenza,” the social disease (diagnosed as such by eminent shrinkologist, Dr. Don Frankel) which results from being spoiled by affluent parents who raise their kids in a values-vacuum….as in the case of the 16-year old who killed four people while DUI and was put on probation instead of being spanked….and then left the country with the help of his momma. I know — it’s not funny. It’s serious business….as if humor has no business being serious, even if it makes one think.

If you (or some other brilliant person) were to ask me, I think I’d propose a sub-category for Humorous Word of the Year (not that some previous Word of the Year winners lacked humor, like 2005’s truthiness). Surely, my fellow nasal gazers, you don’t doubt that such words as booger would have been worthy contenders in the past….not to mention weenie, kumquat and odiferous.

Speaking of reeking of serious humor, I nominate the class noun “etymology” for the proverbial last word :

Online Etymology Dictionary – humor

 

 

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27 comments on “SO, WHAT’S THE GOOD WORD?

  1. ladysighs says:

    I’m still stuck in the 1900s. 😦 Don’t even recognize English anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. arekhill1 says:

    Affluenza it is, Sr. Muse, especially since “trump” was already a word long before the Donald arose to plague us.

    Like

  3. mistermuse says:

    If Republicans don’t come to their senses before giving America their choice for next President, the 2016 Word of the Year may be “DONkey-konged.” 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mistermuse says:

    Ladysighs, I’m beginning to doubt that the WORLD will see mid 2000….but if it does, I hope it appreciates what you’re scheduling. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Is “awesome” dead yet?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. mistermuse says:

    Thank you for coming to my rescue, My Fair Lady (& daughter) — after all, if Sir Galahad could save maidens in distress, why shouldn’t a fair maiden save a latter-day Sir Galahad (mistermuse)?
    Awesomesauce! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Don Frankel says:

    Well I vote for affluenza as well since Dr. Don is a close personal friend of mine.

    I do believe that Mr. Higgins would figure out where I was from in about 3 words or less.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mistermuse says:

    I’d like to see Higgins figure out where Helen Keller was from! (Harpo Marx too, though he could speak – just not on film.) 🙂

    Like

  9. literaryeyes says:

    Because? Was I “totally” asleep in 2013? Whatever happened to “whatever”?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mistermuse says:

    Thank you very much. I should do some re-blogging myself, but I’m not cool enough technology-wise to know how to do it.

    Like

  11. Don Frankel says:

    If my feeble memory serves me right, I do believe that Harpo said a word once. It was at the end of a scene or the whole movie. I could be wrong.

    Like

  12. mistermuse says:

    According to Wikipedia, Harpo only “spoke” once on film, and that was in a silent movie in 1925 in which the audience saw his lips move and saw the words on a title card.

    I’m glad you made me curious enough to check it out, Don, because I didn’t know that.

    Like

  13. scifihammy says:

    I love words – and like Affluenza! 🙂
    But I do have a bit of a problem with American English – because, as Henry Higgins says, “In America they haven’t used it (English) in years!” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. mistermuse says:

    I love that scene in MY FAIR LADY – in fact, the whole movie is great (though I haven’t seen it in years)! 🙂

    Like

  15. hooklineandinkwell says:

    This is grade A writing…okay, it’s A++..one of the benefits of living in a remote fishing village in Newfoundland, is that we still use words and phrases that were brought here some four hundred years ago, though we’ve managed to learn a few new ones 🙂 I love the words you have selected and I hope for America’s (and the world’s) sake, that Trumpoed will come to refer to any politician who is run out off the planet – perhaps used in place of monkeys they senftinto space during test flights. Do they still do that?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. mistermuse says:

    Thank you, F. T. American politics has gotten so screwed up that it’s like the proverbial inmates running the asylum, and too many voters want simplistic answers to intractable problems of which they themselves are often the cause. We’ve been down this road before with “My way or the highway” attitudes, but not this far down in a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. RMW says:

    Interesting that “bailout” followed “subprime”…. we never learn from our mistakes… at least the financial institutions don’t. I have a rather mixed accent which seems to change with the time of day… and watching the video clip reminded me of the time a self-described linguist was adamant that I was from Brooklyn… he would not believe the origin of my accent was England! Most people guess Boston or Australia… don’t ask!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. mistermuse says:

    RWW, I’m sure you’re lovable in any language….or accent! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. mistermuse says:

    Kumquaty too! 🙂

    Like

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