Tag Archives: word of the year

Jolly time

It’s been a mere two days since “hashtag” was declared 2012’s Word of the Year, and we already have a frontrunner in this year’s competition:


jolly EdithAs in,

“Lady Edith, have you done something jolly with your hair?”

In a Downton Abbey premiere episode chock full of plot twists and memorable one-liners, Sir Anthony’s clever compliment of the youngest Crawley sister’s coiff was, quite simply, the bee’s knees.

I hereby declare ‘jolly’ to be the Word of the Year for 2013…and heretofore plan to incorporate it into my day-to-day conversation whenever appropriate (and even when it’s not).

Isn’t that a jolly idea?



And the word of 2012 is…


This doesn’t surprise me.  It feels like hashtag has been around a lot longer — that’s how much a part of our vernacular it has so quickly become.

What does surprise me is who makes the grand proclamation of “Word of the Year” — the American Dialect Society.

I’ve never heard of them.

Founded in 1889, the organization is dedicated to the study of the English language and supports the Dictionary of American Regional English.  They also publish American Speech magazine.


Danke schoen

Have I mentioned that I’m part German?

Yep.  And I’ve never been more proud of the fact than today.

A group of German linguists has chosen ‘shitstorm’ as the “Anglicism of the Year.”

Shitstorm…defined as “a public outcry, primarily on the Internet.”  The jury who made the declaration said shitstorm fills a gap in modern German vocabulary.

This pleases me on many levels.

I always think of the Germans as being so practical-minded.  And sure, they may have added this word to ‘fill a gap.’  But it’s a poop word!  I love that.

It also makes some of the words that we silly Americans have added to our dictionary of late seem a little less, well…silly.  Word like turducken. Bromance. Defriend. LBD.

Tramp stamp.

Yep.  That’s a shitstorm of language going on there.

Star date

My favorite class in college was astronomy.

I initially took it just to avoid chemistry and ended up loving it.  A lot of the credit goes to my professor, Dr. Tom Troland.  His lectures were always filled with jokes, obscure facts, and interesting stories.  We students were so busy having fun, we were surprised to discover how much we’d learned at the end of each class.

I learned a lot…like the fact that May Day, 1930 is the anniversary of the naming of the ninth planet Pluto.

Well — the former planet, I should say.  It was stripped of its major planet status in 1906.

Sucks to be the last child — I’ve always said it.

Pluto lost its status because the International Astronomical Union changed the rules in 2006. According to the new guidelines, Pluto didn’t have enough mass relative to the other objects in its orbit to be considered a major planet.

Now it’s a dwarf.

A lot of people protested the reclassification; many scientists chose to ignore it.  The New Mexico House of Representatives and Illinois State Senate both passed resolutions that Pluto will always be considered a planet in their night skies.

The American Dialect Society even chose “to pluto” — “to demote or devalue something” as their Word of the Year in 2006.

Did you know that Pluto wasn’t a planet anymore?  Today is a good day to learn more about it.