sabato, gennaio 07, 2006

Words of the year

At their annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Friday evening, the members of the American Dialect Society voted for their words of the year in a process that was
described as "serious but far from solemn". Their Word of the Year is the odd term "truthiness". First heard on the Colbert Report, a satirical mock news show on the Comedy Channel, "truthiness" refers to the quality of stating concepts or facts one wishes or believes to be true rather than those known to be true. "Podcast", a digital feed containing audio or video files for downloading to a portable MP3 player, was voted Most Useful Word, while "whale tail", the appearance of thong or g-string underwear above the waistband of pants, shorts or skirt, won the Most Creative section. The award for the Most Outrageous Word of 2005 went to "crotchfruit", a child or children (perhaps inspired by the expression the fruit of one's loins, it began among proponents of child-free public spaces, but has since spread to parents who use it jocularly). The word voted Most Likely to Succeed went to "sudoku", the number puzzle (which has already succeeded in the UK beyond all understanding) while the one Least Likely to Succeed was "pope-squatting", registering a domain name that is the same as that of a new pope before the pope chooses his official name in order to profit from it. In a special category for this year only, the best Tom-Cruise-Related Word was "jump the couch", to exhibit strange or frenetic behaviour, a term inspired by the couch-bouncing antics of Tom Cruise on Oprah Winfrey's talk show in May; it derives from an earlier term, "jump the shark", meaning to (irretrievably) diminish in quality; to outlast public interest or popular support.

Michael Quinion

2 Comments:

At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Francesco Rinarelli said...

Ciao, ho appena finito di leggere "Ontologia" di Achille Varzi, giusto per riprendere un discorso di qualche tempo fa. Tra l'altro ho visto che nella sua home page ti linka... Ma tu lo conosci? Che tipo è? Il libro mi ha interessato parecchio, ma probabilmente manco di alcune basi per cui qualche pezzo devo essermelo ingoiato senza gustarlo...

 
At 7:05 PM, Blogger Angelo said...

Non conosco Varzi di persona. Ci siamo scambiati qualche messaggio di posta elettronica appena dopo la mia laurea, nel 1997, niente di più.
Secondo me è una delle migliori menti che abbiamo esportato negli USA.
Sul suo sito ha molto materiale scaricabile, sia in italiano che in inglese.
Si occupa prevalentemente di ontologia. In italiano ho letto tempo fa Buchi ed altre superficialità (Garzanti), che ha scritto con Casati. Un libro sui buchi!!
Hai ragione, a volte non è facile seguirlo se non si conosce la disciplina ma almeno si sforza di essere chiaro.

 

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