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December 13, 2011


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You missed "Tebowing"

As much as "occupy" seemed to me to be a slam dunk, I'm warming to something that did not make your list: "1 percenter." I've started seeing the usual holiday story about what to get the super-rich for Christmas cast as "What to get the 1 percenter on your list." I think this one might have some staying power.


I was just telling my husband last night how brilliant this one is, and how smart they were never to let themselves get defined by a too-specific agenda - Occupy will flex, morph, and re-task for a decade or more, is my bet.

While 1 percenter might take on a positive glow, I believe Occupy will always carry with it a nice disruptive threat, and thus retain its linguistic power.

Sadly, I think Fracking will be with us for a while, but I predict in about five years it will take on quite horrible implications, as the fallout from the practice will be undeniable after a few disasters - come on, earthquakes in Oklahoma?

It's almost certainly "occupy"'s year, but for new formations I was charmed by one created by Linda Holmes (of NPR's pop-culture blog): "onomatappology" for something which sounds like an appology but isn't (which is a particularly popular form of celebrity theater).

If submissions need to meet only one of the criteria to qualify, then any word that is "not a peeve or a complaint about overuse or misuse" would be valid.

@malkie: OK, you got me. It's "not a peeve (etc.)" plus one other criterion.

I think "mic check" deserves to be on this list, both for its evocation of the "people's mic" phenomenon and for its recent use as a tactic for political demonstration--Rachel Maddow had a great piece on the different styles of response from politicians to being mic-checked.

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