Thursday, February 19, 2009

Words, Words, Words ~ Late Eveing Thoughts

This is a two-part post tonight . . .

First, Good Ol' Oxford University has complied a list of the 10 MOST irritating expressions . . .

The phrases appear in a book called Damp Squid, named after the mistake of confusing a squid with a squib, a type of firework.

The researchers who compiled the list monitor the use of phrases in a database called the Oxford University Corpus, which comprises books, papers, magazines, broadcast, the Internet and other sources.

The database alerts them to new words and phrases and can tell them which expressions are disappearing. It also shows how words are being misused.

As well as the above expressions, the book's author Jeremy Butterfield says that many annoyingly over-used expressions actually began as office lingo, such as 24/7 and "synergy".

Other phrases to irritate people are "literally" and "ironically", when they are used out of context.

Mr Butterfield said: "We grow tired of anything that is repeated too often – an anecdote, a joke, a mannerism – and the same seems to happen with some language."

Here is the list ~ I'm sure there are others we all would like to see added -

The top ten most irritating phrases:

1 - At the end of the day (a phrase I have come to detest!)

2 - Fairly unique (is this similar to being somewhat pregnant?)

3 - I personally

4 - At this moment in time (a bad song title as well)

5 - With all due respect (usually followed by something showing NO respect)

6 - Absolutely

7 - It's a nightmare

8 - Shouldn't of (instead of shouldn't have ~ my Mother would be so proud!!)

9 - 24/7

10 - It's not rocket science

The American Dialect Society ~ Word Of The Year

Their press release says it best:

Word of the Year is interpreted in its broader sense as “vocabulary item”—not just words but
phrases. The words or phrases do not have to be brand-new, but they have to be newly prominent or notable in the past year, in the manner of Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

The vote is the longest-running such vote anywhere, the only one not tied to commercial interests, and the word-of-the-year event up to which all others lead. It is fully informed by the members’ expertise in the study of words, but it is far from a solemn occasion. Members in the 119-year-old organization include linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, grammarians, historians, researchers, writers, authors, editors, professors, university students, and independent scholars.

In conducting the vote, they act in fun and do not pretend to be officially inducting words into the English language. Instead they are highlighting that language change is normal, ongoing, and entertaining.

2007 Word of the Year,
subprime, an adjective used to describe a risky or less than ideal loan, mortgage, or investment.
Most Useful: green- prefix/compounding form, designates environmental concern, as in greenwashing.
Most Creative
: googlegänger, a person with your name who shows up when you google yourself.
Most Unnecessary
: Happy Kwanhanamas! [Kwanza + Hanukka + Christmas] Happy holidays!
Most Outrageous
: toe-tapper, A homosexual. Senator Larry Craig was arrested in June for an encounter in a public restroom in which toe-tapping was said to have been used as a sexual come on.
Most Euphemistic: human terrain team, a group of social scientists employed by the US military to serve as cultural advisers in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Most Likely to Succeed: green- prefix/compounding form, designates environmental concern, as in greenwashing.
Least Likely to Succeed
: strand-in, protest duplicating being stranded inside an airplane on a delayed flight.
New Category, Real Estate Words
: subprime, used to describe a risky or poorly documented loan or mortgage.

These are the words for 2007, I will be posting 2008 soon . . . .

Show me - from My Fair Lady

Freddy
Speak and the world is full of singing,
And I'm winging Higher than the birds.
Touch and my heart begins to crumble,
The heaven's tumble, Darling, and I'm...

Eliza
Words!
Words! Words! I'm so sick of words!
I get words all day through;
First from him, now from you! Is that all you blighters can do?
Don't talk of stars Burning above; If you're in love,
Show me! Tell me no dreams
Filled with desire. If you're on fire,
Show me! Here we are together in the middle of the night!
Don't talk of spring! Just hold me tight!
Anyone who's ever been in love'll tell you that
This is no time for a chat! Haven't your lips
Longed for my touch? Don't say how much,
Show me! Show me! Don't talk of love lasting through time.
Make me no undying vow. Show me now!
Sing me no song! Read me no rhyme!
Don't waste my time, Show me!
Don't talk of June, Don't talk of fall!
Don't talk at all! Show me!
Never do I ever want to hear another word.
There isn't one I haven't heard.
Here we are together in what ought to be a dream;
Say one more word and I'll scream!
Haven't your arms Hungered for mine?
Please don't "expl'ine," Show me! Show me!
Don't wait until wrinkles and lines
Pop out all over my brow,
Show me now!

2 comments:

Marja said...

Great post I love the poem Words even can't express some things so just abandon them
Although I am living with the english language for about 10 years yes the top ten irritating are used quite a bit and I like the new word google ganger
Thanks for visiting my blog b

Nodrin King said...

Ah, the lyrics from My Fair Lady. It make my heart smile when I replay those amusing scenes in my head... :) - Hugs from NK