Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This Blog Needs Lex-Appeal! — Unfriend A Dumbo Or A Teabagger!

This blogger is a logophile. No brag, just fact — as they say in the Lone Star State. One of the great snark-artistes, Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine, took great joy that the catch-phrase — teabaggers — for the wacko Dumbo protesters who crawled out from under their rocks this summer (and since) to protest against the POTUS (44) was a new application of old slang. Here's Taibbi's take on Michelle Malkin, Queen of the Teabaggers:

Michelle Malkin... [is] just a mean little dunce who’s wedged herself into a nicely paying career as a GOP spokesclown, and she’s going to ride that gig for as long as it keeps gas in her minivan.

And that’s fine, good for her. But that doesn’t make her readable. However, this move of hers to spearhead the teabag movement really adds an element to her writing that wasn’t there before. Now when I read her stuff, I imagine her narrating her text, book-on-tape style, with a big, hairy set of balls in her mouth. It vastly improves her prose.

Now, that's what this blog calls lex-appeal! If this is (fair & balanced) lexicography, so be it.

[x OUP Blog]
Oxford Word Of The Year 2009: Unfriend
Blogged by Rebecca Ford

Tag Cloud of the following article

created at

Birds are singing, the sun is shining and I am joyful first thing in the morning without caffeine. Why you ask? Because it is Word of the Year time (or WOTY as we refer to it around the office). Every year the New Oxford American Dictionary prepares for the holidays by making its biggest announcement of the year. This announcement is usually applauded by some and derided by others and the ongoing conversation it sparks is always a lot of fun, so I encourage you to let us know what you think in the comments.

Without further ado, the 2009 Word of the Year is: unfriend.

unfriend – verb – To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook.

As in, “I decided to unfriend my roommate on Facebook after we had a fight.”

“It has both currency and potential longevity,” notes Christine Lindberg, Senior Lexicographer for Oxford’s US dictionary program. “In the online social networking context, its meaning is understood, so its adoption as a modern verb form makes this an interesting choice for Word of the Year. Most “un-” prefixed words are adjectives (unacceptable, unpleasant), and there are certainly some familiar “un-” verbs (uncap, unpack), but “unfriend” is different from the norm. It assumes a verb sense of “friend” that is really not used (at least not since maybe the 17th century!). Unfriend has real lex-appeal.”

Wondering what other new words were considered for the New Oxford American Dictionary 2009 Word of the Year? Check out the list below.

2009 Neologisms

hashtag – a # [hash] sign added to a word or phrase that enables Twitter users to search for tweets (postings on the Twitter site) that contain similarly tagged items and view thematic sets

intexticated – distracted because texting on a cellphone while driving a vehicle

netbook – a small, very portable laptop computer with limited memory

paywall – a way of blocking access to a part of a website which is only available to paying subscribers

sexting – the sending of sexually explicit texts and pictures by cellphone


freemium – a business model in which some basic services are provided for free, with the aim of enticing users to pay for additional, premium features or content

funemployed – taking advantage of one’s newly unemployed status to have fun or pursue other interests

zombie bank – a financial institution whose liabilities are greater than its assets, but which continues to operate because of government support

Politics and Current Affairs

Ardi – (Ardipithecus ramidus) oldest known hominid, discovered in Ethiopia during the 1990s and announced to the public in 2009

birther – a conspiracy theorist who challenges President Obama’s birth certificate

choice mom – a person who chooses to be a single mother

death panel – a theoretical body that determines which patients deserve to live, when care is rationed

teabagger -a person, who protests President Obama’s tax policies and stimulus package, often through local demonstrations known as “Tea Party” protests (in allusion to the Boston Tea Party of 1773)


brown state – a US state that does not have strict environmental regulations

green state – a US state that has strict environmental regulations

ecotown - a town built and run on eco-friendly principles

Novelty Words

deleb – a dead celebrity

tramp stamp – a tattoo on the lower back, usually on a woman

Notable Word Clusters for 2009:


[This blog was started in July 2005 and in the summer of 2006 Rebecca Ford took the reins. She loves her job because it comes with more free books than one person could read in a lifetime. Prior to working at OUP she worked at Creative Loafing, an alternative newspaper in Atlanta.]

Copyright © 2009 Oxford University Press USA

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Copyright © 2009 Sapper's (Fair & Balanced) Rants & Raves

Tom Tomorrow's Quick & Dirty Guide To The Health Care Reform Debate

The Dumbos are what they are: dumb. C'mon Donkeys! Pass the damn bill already! Shove it down their stupid Dumbo-minority throats. Let the Tea Baggers howl at the moon. They ain't got the votes. If this is (fair & balanced) realpolitik, so be it.

[x Salon]
This Modern World — "Parts Is Parts"
By Tom Tomorrow (Dan Perkins)

Click on image to enlarge. Ω

Tom Tomorrow/Dan Perkins

[Dan Perkins is an editorial cartoonist better known by the pen name "Tom Tomorrow". His weekly comic strip, "This Modern World," which comments on current events from a strong liberal perspective, appears regularly in approximately 150 papers across the U.S., as well as on Salon and Working for Change. The strip debuted in 1990 in SF Weekly.

Perkins, a long time resident of Brooklyn, New York, currently lives in Connecticut. He received the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism in both 1998 and 2002.

When he is not working on projects related to his comic strip, Perkins writes a daily political weblog, also entitled "This Modern World," which he began in December 2001.]

Copyright © 2009 Salon Media Group

Get the Google Reader at no cost from Google. Click on this link to go on a tour of the Google Reader. If you read a lot of blogs, load Reader with your regular sites, then check them all on one page. The Reader's share function lets you publicize your favorite posts.

Copyright © 2009 Sapper's (Fair & Balanced) Rants & Raves