Didn't get everything on your Chanukah list? Haven't received any Festivus invitations? Cheer up: I have goodies to spare.
First course, more year-end lists:
- The Guardian (U.K.) selects its "Noughtyisms," a year-by-year list of the decade's best words. They place cougar in 2005; I had it on my 2009 list. Hat tip: Sherry Noik.
- Separated by a Common Language announces the best American-to-British and British-to-American imports of 2009.
- Minneapolis naming agency Pollywog picks its best and worst brand names of 2009. I disagree about Bing—I think it's a pretty good name—but I agree about the rest.
- This just in: The German word of the year is Abwrackprämie (literally: "wrecking premium"), the equivalent of "cash for clunkers." Runner-up: kriegsähnliche Zustände, or “war-like conditions,” used to describe the situation faced by German troops in Afghanistan.
And looking toward the new year:
- From Trendwatching, 10 consumer trends to watch in 2010, including "(F)luxury," "Maturialism," and "Urbany."
A couple of enjoyable time-wasters—uh, research opportunities:
- SlangSite, "a dictionary of slang, webspeak, made-up words, and colloquialisms." I'm partial to qiken (pronounced chicken), "used to describe chicken cooked in an Asian style." Hat tip: Dick Margulis, author of an excellent blog on writing, publishing, editing, and web design.
- WordCount, a brilliant interactive display of the 86,000+ most commonly used words in (British) English. Hat tip: Descriptively Adequate.
In anticipation of Festivus, with its annual Airing of Grievances, here are a couple of grievances about relationships between designers and clients. Equally applicable to name developers and copywriters, to be sure. (I'll air more grievances on the actual holiday, Dec. 23.)
- How a web design goes straight to hell. With very few changes, could apply to writing and naming projects.
Finally, here's a bit of, uh, breaking naming news you may have missed: The Swedish Association for Sexuality Education has announced a new name for the hymen: vaginal corona. In Swedish: slidkrans. Thanks a million for that link, Wes Phillips.
Image: Festivus ice cream, a seasonal flavor produced by Ben & Jerry's in the early 2000s, brought back by popular demand in 2006, and now retired.