January 2010

Interview on Voice of America’s “Wordmaster” program about what to call the last decade and the next one. (Transcript, audio)

Interview on Voice of America’s “Wordmaster” program about words of the year (2009) and words of the decade (2000-09). (Transcript, audio)

Stephen W. Smith, “‘Google’ Wins Top Word of Nameless Decade” (CBS News, Jan. 9, 2010)

Chances are, in the past year, you read a blog about a bank bailout, a balloon boy and a beer summit.

And you may have been inundated with tweets about mini-Madoffs, Climategate and Octomom.

Indeed, 2009, like every other year, spawned a vocabulary torn from the headlines: “inaugurate,” “H1N1” and “rogue” all caused gridlock in Web traffic. Depending on which dictionary you trust, either “admonish” (Merriam-Webster) or “unfriend” (New Oxford American) was anointed 2009’s word of the year.

But what was the top word of the past decade?

“Google” (the verb) takes the prize, according to the American Dialect Society, which made the declaration Friday evening in Baltimore.

“It’s hard to imagine life before we were Googling,” American Dialect Society executive council member Ben Zimmer tells CBSNews.com.

Read the rest here.

Interview in Washington Post video, “‘Kanye,’ ‘Twitterati’ Top Word of 2009?” (Video)