Tonight I'm voting in the official "Word of the Year" election held at the annual American Dialect Society conference. What words do you think should merit being considered the best word of 2004? As defined by the ADS, the word of the year is the word that "most colored the nation's lexicon, or otherwise dominated the national discourse." Thus, the word of 1999 was Y2K, the word of 2000 was chad, the word of 2001 was 9/11, and so forth. What word best defines 2004? I have a feeling it will be blog (especially considering the interest in "internet bloggers" in the past election), but who knows.
There are also other categories, such as "Most Creative," "Most Likely to Succeed," "Most Outrageous," and so forth.
Here are some of the candidates, from the ADS website (http://www.americandialect.org):
girlie man, girly man?Effeminate male (Best Revival of an Old Term?we have a citation for 1894 that obviously antedates the SNL use in the Hans und Franz skit ca. 1987)
Pac-Manhattan?Pac-Man played out in the streets of Manhattan by students in colored rain coats
strategic ambiguity?Not letting the enemy know for sure about one's military (esp. Nuclear) capabilities (citations go back to the early 70s)
movieokie?Version of a movie allowing would-be actors to perform the dialogue
Janet moment?Unplanned bodily exposure at a public function (after Janet Jackson)
Boobgate?Scandal over Janet Jackson's exposed breast
Nipplegate?See BOOBGATE (but used earlier in squawk over John Elway's possible nipple ring)
proclaimer?"I am __________, and I approve this message." (Now that's got to be the phrase of the year.)
hillbilly armor?Makeshift armor added to military vehicles
up-armored?Equipped with hillbilly armor
527?Independent political action committee of the kind that must surely rankle McCain and Feingold
traditionally built woman?Big chick
flash mob?seemingly spontaneous gathering prompted by cellphoning
purple state?a state that is neither red nor blue, but undecided
angel, n., among American military medical personnel in Iraq, a soldier killed in combat. The earliest cite I have is 2004.
backdoor draft, n., the filling of military jobs through reactivation of former troops or through forced enlistment extensions known as stop-loss orders. Although bandied about during the 2004 presidential campaign, backdoor draft was used as early as 1999 during the Clinton administration in online discussions between military personnel.
haji mart, n., among American military in Iraq and Afghanistan, a flea market, bazaar, or roadside vendor. Usually derisive or jocular. From haji, a term for any native of those countries, which in Arabic and Farsi is a term of respect for Muslims who have made a pilgrimage to Mecca. Often capitalized as if it is a proper noun, haji mart probably succeeds through its play on the American retail chains "Wal-Mart" and "K-Mart." This was probably coined in 2003.
hillbilly armor, n., scavenged materials used by soldiers for improvised bulletproofing and vehicle hardening, esp. in Iraq. First cite 2004.
Got any others? What are your favorites? Let me know.....I'll post the official results sometime tonight.