Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 18:35:21 -0500
From: Jim Crotty Monkmag[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: Re: Nominations for Words of the Year
In a message dated 11/3/97 1:53:58 PM, you wrote:
Barry Popik sends these:
--RAZZI (as in paperazzi, videorazzi, stalkerazzi, chopperazzi, et al.)
The Word-of-the-Year need not be a "new" word during the year. The most
influential word of the year will do. "Ebonics" was two decades old, but was
still a WOTY contender last year. "Soccer mom" also was older than a year.
"Show Me the Money!" is the Phrase-of-the-Year. The movie JERRY MAGUIRE came
out for the Christmas season of 1996, but the movie's catchphrase became
popular in January 1997.
It's hard to argue with "azzi" (no doubt it's popularity as a negative word
due to sounding like "Nazi"), but there are some strong runner-ups....
"Indie" is still hanging around, especially in relation to films (though most
so-called "indie films" aren't "indie" at all), though indie magazines and
music are now useless concepts. A major consolation prize should be granted
to "don't go there," which was a big early 90's gay culture term that has
swept the nation, and, still maintains its popularity within gay culture,
despite its use by everyone from Ricki Lake and Whoopi Goldberg to those frat
boys rooting for the Seminoles. That expression has some legs. There's also
"it's a girl thing," and the use of "thing" in all sorts of different
scenarios (a holdover from George Bush--perhaps his major contribution to
American culture period), and, yes, "da bomb" (as in, "MJ is da bomb"). It's
been around awhile, but keeps hanging in there. It remains to be seen whether
it will have the staying power of "cool," or groooooovy" (given a huge boost
by Austin Powers) or "what---EVer" (the Val girl term I've heard used by
straight car salesman in Omaha and practically everywhere else in the
country). Other runner-ups include a slew of Buddhist terms ("nirvana,"
"satori,"), "boutique" (boutique cities, boutique beers), and, believe it or
not, "dude" (still strong after all these years, dude) and "kewl" (formerly
"cool"). I love this topic, and hope at the end we can ascertain an ADS Top
20 (akin to the top twenty in other "sports").... But I don't want to just
limit to words, but expand to influential expressions. Maybe we can also
vote for Most Improved, Biggest Loser, and more.
Oh, I've never received a very clear definition of a "soccer mom." Is she
Republican, Democrat? Democratic Centrist? Liberal Republican? All of the
Jim Crotty (aka Monk)
How to Talk American
Monkmag[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]aol.com