Linguists and lexicographers attending the annual meeting of the American Dialect Society, held in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America, voted bailout as Word of the Year for 2008.
Bailout refers to the rescue by the government of companies on the brink of failure, including large players in the banking industry
“When you vote for bailout, I guess you’re really voting for ‘hope’ and ‘change,’ too, ” Grant Barrett, chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society said. “Though you’d think a room full of pointy-headed intellectuals could come up with something more exciting.”
This was the society's 19th annual words of the year vote. The words or phrases do not have to be brand-new, but they have to be newly prominent or
notable in the past year. Other nominees for Word of the Year included Barack Obama and the phrase "lipstick on a pig."
In other categories:
The Most Creative Word in 2008 was recombobulation area -- An area at Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee in which
passengers that have just passed through security screening can get their clothes and belongings back
The Most Unnecessary Word of 2008 was moofing -- From “mobile out of office,” meaning working on the go with a laptop and cell
In a new category of election-related words, maverick was the top pick.
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- ► 2008 (209)