Archive for January 16th, 2005

Praise for Pajamahadeen

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One
of the factors that has made English the dominant global language (overwhelming
military, economic and cultural
hegemony may have something to do with it as well) is the plasticity
and adjustability of its lexicon. Unlike Spanish or French, there is
no "Royal Academy" prescribing what is linguistically correct or acceptable.
The closest we come are a handful of authoratative dictionaries and
web sites which document rather than dictate the changing English landscape.
The language can evolve and adapt, invent words and steal them from other
languages
or
groups.

According to a column called The
Word
in the Sunday Globe the Number
1 new word lookup on the Merriman Webster online dictionary was – BLOG!
Hard to believe that many people didn’t know what it meant!

WHAT WORDS WERE we using in 2004? Merriam-Webster knows: Its list of
the year’s Top 10 terms is not a committee’s inventive effort but
a dispassionate
tally of lookups in its online dictionaries and thesaurus  m-w.com).
And though blog ranks No. 1, politics and war are predictably dominant:
Incumbent, electoral, insurgent, partisan, and sovereignty are
all on the list.

Blog would have been old news at ADS  www.americandialect.org) whose members named it Most Likely to Succeed
two years ago. But the blogosphere was winningly represented by the
Most Creative word of 2004, pajamahadeen, or ”bloggers who challenge
and
fact-check traditional media.” The coinage, attributed to Jim Geraghty
of National Review Online, was provoked by ex-CBS executive Jonathan
Klein, who appeared on ”The O’Reilly Factor,” as Rathergate loomed,
to defend traditional newsgathering.

The
Word
column by Jan Freeman