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Happy Holidays
12/28/2003 2:15 PM
Sunday

After months of trying to get one of my clever headlines (linked to a current news story) posted on Fark.Com, I've finally figured out how to get posted on there. Enter the photoshop contest.

We were asked to come up with an explanation of what is happening to all of the Mars probes. As you may or may not know, Beagle 2 hasn't phoned home since it was supposed to have landed on the red planet on December 26th. The picture this month is my entry. All of the entries can be seen here.

So, here's the end of 2003. How about a recap?

In the News

Top Ten Word Lists of 2003 Announced by yourDictionary.com

Lists include top 10 words, top 10 names, the latest in YouthSpeak, top phrases, best and worst product names, and more.

Lewisburg, PA. December 26, 2003. yourDictionary.com the Web's most complete language resource, today released its Top 10 Words of 2003, featuring words that have made the news this year. The complete list includes the top phrases, the top names, the best and worst product names, top Enron inspired words, top YouthSpeak words, and others. The full list is available at the company website, yourDictionary.com.

"This year the Iraqi War has dominated the English language as it has dominated the news," said Robert Beard, CEO of yourDictionary.

According to Paul JJ Payack, Chairman of the company, "Embedded was the best word to distill the events of an extraordinary year into 8 simple letters."

The words were chosen by visitors to the company's discussion board, the Agora plus the staff and employees of the company—with the unofficial assistance of the world press corps throughout the year.

 
Top Ten Words of 2003
1. Embedded   News correspondents embedded in military units suggested to many that news correspondents were in bed with the military.
2. Blog

Web logs have come of age and, regrettably, this lexical mutation with them.

3. SARS Farm animals strike back at the humans who eat them again with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. The Flu (with a capital "F") is pushing right behind.
4. Spam This old word now refers to a plague contending with SARS for destructive potential. Could the Flu (with a capital "F") be any worse?
5. Taikonaut The Chinese astronaut distracted our attention from textiles and copyrights to remind us that China is a rising industrial power.
6. Bushism This word now has a real possibility for remaining in the language. (Dan Quayle has lost his chance of making solecisms his contribution to political history.)
7. Allision The National Transportation and Safety Board in investigating the Staten Island ferry tragedy concluded it wasn't a collision (between two moving objects) but an allision (a crash with an immoveable object).
8. Recall As in California Recall that resulted in the election of Ahh-nold as the Governator.
9. Middangeard Middle English for Middle Earth in the movies of Tolkien's trilogy, still fascinating millions around the world with its characters and insights into the origins of the English language.
10. Celibacy The word which holds the key to ending the seemingly eternal scandal of the US Catholic Church.

Top Ten Personal Names of 2003
1. Saddam Hussein Just crawled out of the Spider-Hole and back into the spotlight.
2. W. (Dubya)

Can't talk his way out of the news. (See the Top Bush Mispronunciations below.)

3. Rush Limbaugh How many pills actually fit into a cigar box?
4. Martha Stewart Not really 'cooking the books' but not quite kosher, either.
5. Pvt. Jessica Lynch Her rescue enthralled the nation desperate for good news.
6. Howard Dean The doctor from nowhere now has the team with the roadmap from nowhere to the White House-Clinton-Gore.
7. Pope John Paul II 25 years in the Papacy have taken their toll but he is still with us.
8. Ahh-nold That's California's new Governator after cruising over the Count of Bustamante in the recall election.
9. Paris Hilton The heiress, apparently named after one of her grandfather's hotels, landed a job on the Fox Network with the Internet distribution of her 'extracurricular activities'.
10. Hans Blix Whose "hans" seem to be tied in his search for the elusive WMDs.


Top Ten Youthspeak Words
1. What Up? Present incarnation of the ever popular: Wassup?
2. Give it up!

Replaces the square: please applaud for…

3. Shut up! YouthSpeak for 'Really?'
4. Stog Cigarette, short for 'stogey'.
5. SNAG Sensitive New-Age Guy.
6. Hottie Object of affection, either personally or in the cultural milieu.
7. Poppins Perfect, as in 'Mary Poppins is perfect in every way.'
8. Tricked Out Souped-up.
9. Rice Rockets Tricked out Japanese compacts, as opposed to American 'muscle' cars.
10. Side Show Temporarily cordoning off a freeway to perform outrageous car stunts in tricked-out rice rockets.

 

Bonus Youthspeak Phenomenon of Note
Bling-bling Has now moved on up into standard slang (click here).

 

Top Phrases of 2003

1. Shock-and-Awe Remember the initial strategy of the Iraqi War? There was probably more of this when we watched Saddam Hussein emerge from his 'spider-hole.'
2. Rush to War Something the US was accused of by our allies and the slogan of liberals attacked by Limbaugh.
3. Tire Pressure   Announced the imminent disintegration of the Space Shuttle.
4. Weapons of Mass Destruction (or WMD). The reason given for the Rush to War. Removing a genocidal maniac wasn't reason enough?
5. 16 Words "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Always check your sources.
6. Guantanamo Bay The US Justice and Defense Departments thought they would "Gitmo" cooperation from suspected terrorists off shore.
7. Spider-Hole   Looks like this one is going to stick around for a while: Sen. Lieberman is already accusing Howard Dean of 'crawling into a spider-hole of denial'. (Don't step in that.)
8. Tipping Point   When any topic moves from one level to the next or the state of a politician one word (or drink) away from falling flat on his face.
9. Angry Left   The early followers of Howard Dean seem to have frightened him to the center.
10. Halliburton Energy Services   Vice President Cheney's old company was supplying our fighting men and women with fuel at enlightened prices before the dust settled in Iraq (if it has settled yet).


5 Top Mispronunciations by President Bush in 2003
1. a-MERR-ca   a-MER-i-ca (America)
2. NEW-cue-ler   NEW-clee-er (nuclear)
3. JU-ler-ee   JU-wel-ree (jewelry)
4. Anzar   Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar
5. Ne-VAH-duh   Ne-VAE-duh) (Nevada)
SOURCES
http://www.generationwoman.com/article.php3?story_id=72
http://209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/1029512/posts
http://www.dallasnews.com/texasliving/stories/ 110203dnlivlarocque.5cd19.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/bush/story/0,7369,505698,00.html


Best New Product Names
1. Way Cool For concerned parents, this car window shade actually begins to turn white when the temp hits 85º F.
2. Thermos Fire + Ice Grill 2 Go Transportable gas grill and cooler in one unit.
3. Chronospan Storage software that protects all your data all the time.
4. iTunes Music Store Apple's Napster-like site for downloadable music.

Worst New Product Names
1. Hywire   GM's name for its new experimental fuel cell car that suggests (1) a potentially fatal act in a circus, in an (2) an electric vehicle (a spectacular automotive failure). Of course, (3) no one outside GM will ever call it "Hywire" because "Haywire" will always be good for an easy laugh.
 
2. Silk   From "soy + milk" Compounded by the company slogan "Silk is soy." No, it isn't; it is a kind of fine thread. You don't want a name that requires explanation.
 
3. Poolife   Here is a name in need of a hyphen (it seems to already have a colon). Would you want to put a product with this moniker in water you occasionally gulp?
   
4. Clonaid   The name for the cult that tried to clone the first human. They certainly could use some aid. But was this a simple case of misspelling-did they actually mean "Clownaid"?
   
5. Bene-   Benedryl (And now I wanna be a saw), Benefiber (now I wanna be a rope), Benefun (?). We can no longer ignore the silly use of bene- which can convey the sense of "good"—but words also have pronunciations.
   

Top Enron Inspired Words
1. Enrosion Shrinking of the value of 401K plans as a result of entrepreneurial piracy.
2. Entronpy The sudden dissipation of accumulated assets into nothingness.

3. Enro   Unit of currency that used to be worth much more than it is now.
 
4. Enronitis   It seems to be contagious, too.
 
5. Chronic Enronitis   It is spreading and won't go away, either.
 

Top Internet Words Moving into Widespread Use
1. Ping   Send a reminder, as in 'Ping me about that!'
2. Multitask   To perform several tasks at the same time.
3. 10X   In high tech jargon, the competitive advantage that separates a company from its competition.
4. Off line The replacement for "out of it," as 'Are you listening or are you off line?'

5. Bandwidth

Capacity, as 'We'll have to increase our bandwidth to handle the order.'

Top Sports-related Words
1. Zim As in 'to be zimmed' coined after 70-year old New York Yankees bench coach who lurched at Pedro Martinez in the American League Championship Series.
2. BCS College football's Bowl Championship Series has been called the "Bogus Championship Series" for leaving the Nation's No. 1 college Football team (USC) out of the title game.
3. Curse of the Bambino For the Boston Red Sox it's 85 years and still counting.

 

Top Word Trends in Pop Music Names
1. !!!   Bands without pronounceable names, though usually pronounced 'tch, tch, tch'.
2. ( )   Albums with symbols as names. This album by Sigur Rós contains a songbook of 16 blank pages.
3. The The   The definite pronoun is definitely in pop music: Examples in 2003 include: The Distillers, The Thrills' The Strokes, The Postal Service, and The Crystal Method.
4. Lots of 'Rs'   Examples include Christina Aguilera's "Dirrty" and Nelly's "Hot In Herre."
5. Downloaders   Downloaders could be anyone. From the 40-year-old classical connoisseur to the 11-year-old checking out Justin Timberlake.

Most frequently spoken word on the Planet:
1. OK Still the most popular word in languages around the world. "OK" originated in a joke in the 1830's, spelled "oll korrekt" in Boston newspapers, the joke being, both words were incorrect. It became so popular, that it was soon abbreviated to simply "O. K." Despite its popularity, the word would have fallen by the wayside had not Martin van Buren, called "Old Kinderhook" for being born in Kinderhook, N.Y. used it in his presidential reelection campaign of 1840. So don't "misunderestimate" the impact of presidential usage on the growth of our vocabulary. It is also spelled "okay."

The Linkfest

Fark
Airwaves Kitesurfing
Stop Alien Abductions
Class of 2006 Mindset List
Pop vs. Soda Controversy
British American Dictionary
Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness
Cute Kitten Random Generator
Banner Ads We'd LIKE To See
The Worst Hallowe'en Costumes of All Time
We Want Your Soul
DHMO
Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer?

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