Dla tych, którzy nie czytają World Wide Words:
WORDS OF THE YEAR 2007 Don't groan. This lot are more interesting than most we've featured here, not least because there are more to choose from. This contest, surely the final one for 2007, is being run by the Macquarie Dictionary in Sydney, Australia. Its editors have chosen five words in each of 17 categories and want visitors to its Web site (http://www.macquariedictionary.com.au) to vote for one from each set. The closing date is 31 January.
Most sets, such as those entitled Carbon Terms (including "carbon footprint" and "carbon sequestration") and Travel (including "slow travel" and "health tourism") contain newish terms that have wide circulation in the English-speaking world. But others are what the Adelaide Advertiser called Australish terms or the Sydney Morning Herald has referred to as Strine (from a famous typically slurred pronunciation of "Australian" by Australians that was immortalised a quarter century ago in the title of a book, Let Stalk Strine, by Afferbeck Lauder, whose pseudonym has to be said by an Australian for you to fully appreciate the joke. (*))
Colloquial terms include "floordrobe", "lady garden" and "salad dodger", respectively a floor littered with discarded clothes, a woman's pubic region, and an overweight person. Other body terms include "arse antlers" (a tattoo just above the buttocks, having a central section and curving extensions on each side), "butt bra" (a garment worn as a support for the buttocks), and "manscaping" (a male grooming procedure in which hair is shaved or trimmed from all over the body). The Social Terms section has "kipper" for an adult child still living in the home of his or her parents (supposedly from "Kids In Parents' Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings") and "slummy mummy", for a mother of young children who has abandoned all care for her personal appearance, a play on "yummy mummy" for an older, immaculately-groomed and attractive woman.
A couple of characteristically Australian terms in the Environment section are "toad juice", liquid fertiliser from pulverised cane toads (a nasty introduced pest in the north of the continent), and "green shoe brigade", those people who stand to profit from dubious practices conducted in the name of environmental protection (this is formed from "white shoe brigade", a deeply derogatory term for the unscrupulous property developers who built up the coast of Queensland in the 1980s).
UNWORD OF THE YEAR Perhaps a quick dose of inverted selection will clear the head. On Tuesday, a jury of German linguists announced its Unwort des Jahres, the word that the group considered to be the worst linguistic misjudgement ("sprachliche Missgriff") of 2007.
It's "Herdprämie", literally "stove reward". A debate has been taking place in Germany about the need to provide more childcare facilities, the alternative being to persuade more mothers to stay at home to look after their children by paying them Betreuungsgeld (child-raising money). The chairman of the jury, Prof. Dr. Horst Schlosser, said that "the word defames parents, especially women, who educate their children at home instead of claiming a place at a day nursery."
(*) Alphabetical Order.
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