Published on June 15, 2007
AMERICAN POP LANGUAGE: AMERICAN POP LANGUAGE by Alleen Pace Nilsen and Don L. F. Nilsen AMERICAN DIALECT SOCIETY WORDS: AMERICAN DIALECT SOCIETY WORDS The American Dialect Society gives awards in the following categories: Most Useful Most Creative Most Unnecessary Most Euphemistic Most Outrageous Best Tom-Cruise-Related Word (2005) Most Likely to Succeed Least Likely to Succeed Word of the Year Slide3: As we discuss the runners up and the winners in each of these categories ask yourself these questions: 1). Have I heard the word before? 2). What does the word mean? 3). Is the word negative or positive in connotation? 4). What does the word show about our changing culture? Most Useful: Most Useful RUNNERS UP: lifehack (making day-to-day behaviors more efficient), truthiness (seeing facts in terms of what you want to believe), patent troll (patent designed for lawsuits against patent infringement) AND THE WINNER IS: podcast (i-Pod + broadcast) Most Creative: Most Creative RUNNERS UP: pinosaur (very old pine tree), muffin top (bulge of fat hanging over low-rider jeans), flee-ancée (runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks) AND THE WINNER IS: whale tail (thong or g-string underwear above the waistband of pants, shorts, or a skirt) Most Unnecessary: Most Unnecessary RUNNERS UP: man date (heterosexual men doing something together), pope-squatting (registering a domain name that is the same as that of a new pope before the pope chooses his new name), reverse logistics (de-supplying a warehouse or store) AND THE WINNER IS: Brenifer (Britney Spears and Kevin Federline) Most Outrageous: Most Outrageous RUNNERS UP: Whizzinator (realistic prosthetic penis for passing drug tests), Bumper Nutz (fake testicles hung from rear end of vehicle), Ex-Lax Option (1. nuclear option, 2. total withdrawl of troops), Intelligent Design AND THE WINNER IS: crotchfruit (a child or children [used by proponents of child-free public spaces]) Most Euphemistic: Most Euphemistic RUNNERS UP: holistic practitioner (prostitute), VBIED (Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device), holiday tree (Christmas tree), extraordinary rendition (sending prisoners oversees), man date (two guys doing something together) AND THE WINNER IS: internal nutrition (force-feeding a prisoner against his or her will) Best Tom-Cruise-Related Word (2005): Best Tom-Cruise-Related Word (2005) RUNNERS UP: TomKat (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes), Cruisazy (crazy like Tom Cruise) AND THE WINNER IS: jump the couch (strange or frenetic behavior, inspired by Tom Cruise’s couch jumping on the Oprah Winfrey talk show) Most Likely to Succeed: Most Likely to Succeed RUNNERS UP: podcast (iPod + broadcast), Cyber Monday (Monday after Thanksgiving), folksonomy (taxonomy of folks) AND THE WINNER IS: sudoku (a number puzzle with each row or column containing only one instance of each number 1-9) Least Likely to Succeed: Least Likely to Succeed RUNNERS UP: metrospiritual (cosmopolitan view of spirituality), Cruiselex (all Tom-Cruise-related words), Brangelina (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie), GSAVE (Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism) AND THE WINNER IS: pope-squatting 2005 WORD OF THE YEAR: 2005 WORD OF THE YEAR RUNNERS UP: Katrina, podcast, intelligent design, refugee, Cruiselex, Heck of a job (phrase by President Bush), brown-out (poor handling of an emergency), and disaster industrial complex (businesses who make a profit by providing emergency services, especially those that result in no-bid contracts) AND THE WINNER IS: truthiness (from Stephen Colbert’s 'Colbert Report') SLAM DUNKS AND NO BRAINERS: SLAM DUNKS AND NO BRAINERS In 2005, Leslie Savan published a book entitled Slam Dunks and No Brainers. The subtitle of the book is Language in Your Life, the Media, Business, Politics, and Like, Whatever. OPENERS:: OPENERS: Hey! What’s happenin’? What’s up? What’s up, Dude? T’sup, Dawg? ‘Sup, Bro? CONTINUERS: CONTINUERS So? Make my day. It could happen. No way. Way. Whatever. SOMETHING IS REPETITIOUS: SOMETHING IS REPETITIOUS Blah blah blah. Same old, same old. Yadda yadda yadda. SOMETHING IS FRUSTRATING: SOMETHING IS FRUSTRATING I hate when that happens. I’m having a bad hair day. What was I thinking? OLD SLANG STILL IN USE: OLD SLANG STILL IN USE Been there. Done that. He’s history. the bottom line Chill out! Go for it. Something is hot. to dis someone to push someone’s buttons under the radar 24/7 Do the math! Gimme a break! CRITICAL REACTIONS : CRITICAL REACTIONS Excuse me! Hello! Duh! Eat my shorts! That’s so five minutes ago You just don’t get it. That sucks. Yeah, Right. WTF MORE CRITICAL REACTIONS : MORE CRITICAL REACTIONS I don’t think so. Get over it. Not ready for Prime Time. Signed L on forehead for (Loser) I’m your worst nightmare. Don’t go there! STILL MORE CRITICAL REACTIONS: STILL MORE CRITICAL REACTIONS As if… Like… Puh…leez Talk to the hand, girlfriend That blows. And a common critical reaction to the media: 'If it Bleeds, it Leads!' GROUP IDENTIFIERS: GROUP IDENTIFIERS bling wearers icies (fancy jewelry) glitterati red states, blue states, purple states yuppieness special clothing, cars and hair styles TEXT MESSAGING SMILIES & ACRONYMS: TEXT MESSAGING SMILIES andamp; ACRONYMS pos (parent over shoulder) tmi (too much information) utsl (use the source, Luke) (funny) lol (laughing out loud) lmao (laughing my ass off) roflmao (rolling on the floor laughing my ass off) STRONG AFFIRMATIONS: STRONG AFFIRMATIONS Hua! Hua! Hua! (marines; an acronym for 'Heard, Understood, Acknowledged') Ka-ching! Yessss! SOME RECENT BUZZWORDS:: SOME RECENT BUZZWORDS: Blahger: A blogger whose message consists of 'blah-blah-blah.' Cellular Macarena: When a cellular phone rings and everyone starts reaching into his coat, pants, purse to answer it Dixie-Chicked: To be reviled or boycotted for voicing an unpopular political sentiment Slide26: ! Job Spill: When work cuts into your personal time Payroll Orphan: Someone who has lost his or her job Up-Titling: Giving people an impressive title instead of a raise YOYO: 'You’re On Your Own' from text messaging Mesa Tribune 10/8/2006, D9 !!CLOSERS : !!CLOSERS It’s a no brainer. Puhleeze. … Not. Throwing a hissyfit. It’s a slam dunk. I’m outta here! !!!POP CULTURE WEB SITES: !!!POP CULTURE WEB SITES http://www.popculturemadness.com http://www.questia.com Slide29: References # 1: Gale, Steven H., ed. Encyclopedia of American Humorists. New York, NY: Garland, 1988. Inge, M. Thomas. American Humor. New York, NY: Oxford Univ Press, 1978. Inge, M. Thomas. Anything Can Happen in a Comic Strip: Centennial Reflections on an American Art Form. Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi Press, 1995. Inge, M. Thomas. Comics as Culture. Jackson, MS: Univ Press of Mississippi, 1990. Slide30: References # 2: Inge, M. Thomas. Perspectivds on American Culture: Essays on Humor, Literature, and the Popular Arts. Cornwall, CT: Locust Hill Press, 1994. Metcalf, Allan, Wayne Glowka, Grant Barrett and David Barnhart. 'Truthiness Voted 2005 Word of the Year by American Dialect Society. Press Release by the American Dialect Society, January 6, 2006. Peckham, Aaron. Urban Dictionary: Fularious Street Slang Defined. Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel, 2005. Savan, Leslie. Slam Dunks and No Brainers: Language in Your Life, the Media, Business, Politics, and Like…Whatever. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.