It’s that time of the year again, when dictionaries list all their favorite words and choose their “words of the year” (WOTY). So what are the words? For dictionary.com it’s “Bluster”, for Oxford dictionaries UK it’s “onmnishambles”, and for the US Oxford dictionaries it’s “GIF”.
Why are they different?
That’s good question a good question, and I have a semi good answer. Dictionary.com is the largest online diction on the web, and has been around since 1995. The rise of the online dictionary has been in incredible over last the decade. During that time these sites have collected lots of information from their web searches. The success is down to people like me, who are just curious about meanings, uses, definitions and spelling. Although I feel it’s important to point out, I’m more than likely responsible for half the global English spelling and grammar searches on the net. Yes my spelling and grammar is that bad!
Dictionary.com according to an interview on Huffington Post, said one reason for choosing Bluster was they liked the added dimension of weather in its meaning (as in a “Blustery day”). Experts were also consulted on the selection. Another element was the number of word enquiries for Bluster. Apparently events that might have led to the increased searches for Bluster were: bad weather, and politicians. But I think we already knew politicians were full of it, by that I mean hot air and potentially harmful, very smelly gases. Other “hot” weather words included: Tempestuous, Inclement, Intemperate and Contumacious.
US Oxford & English Oxford dictionary choose different WOTY, due to the obvious differences in language use, and popular culture. According to blog.oxforddictionaries.com USA’s runner up list included the words: Superstorm, Nomophobia, Higgs boson, YOLO, MOOC and Super PAC.
Do you agree?
I’m not sure I do. Like most people I read a lot, and write more than my fair share. But I’ve never used “YOLO”, “MOOC”, super PAC or Nomophobia, I’ve never heard of a few. Why do they always seem to choose obscure things, “bluster” I get! Although I have to admit “nomophobia”, is quickly growing on me, I mean it slides of the tongue so naturally – “how’s the nomophobia thing going Bob?”
There’s no reason to feel bad if you don’t use any of these words. While writing this article I’ve noticed that I’m not the only one having problems. “Microsoft take note” – your word software doesn’t recognize: Superstorm, Nomophobia or onmnishambles. Come on Microsoft get with the times, you’re not cool!
Firstly I have no idea why they Choose to release the WOTY this time of the year – perhaps it’s a pre-Christmas gift, meant to inspire us for shopping.
Nomophobia – fear of being without your phone.
Onmnishambles – a situation that’s been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations.
YOLO – you only live once; typically used as rationale or endorsement for impulsive or irresponsible behavior.
Super Pac – political action committee which may raises unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, and individuals but is not permitted to contribute to or coordinate directly with parties or candidates – (It was on the tip of my tongue honestly!).
MOOC – massive open online course; a university course offered free of charge via the internet.
Why I love online dictionaries?
Firstly I move around a lot, and suitcases of books are heavy! Secondly I love writing but being dyslexic is a real pain in the ass, so I find dictionaries awesome for my needs. And while we are on the topic, I feel the need to confess that I’ve spelt the word obvious wrong 5 times and particularly 3 times. It’s a gift and a curse!
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