2006 Word Awards
Professor Polistra has been gathering up annoying words and phrases during 2006.
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A few mispronunciations that seem to be spreading like wildfire:
DIStriBUTE. Appears to be a slop-over from the stress pattern of Distribution. A common occurrence in language, but Polistra wonders why the same change hasn't taken over CONtribute as well.
Affectionado for aficionado
. Interesting because it's an unconscious translation of the Spanish back into English.
Kalishnikov. The word is spelled Kalashnikov. No excuse for this one. Russian can be difficult, but there's no reason in Russian itself, nor any reason in the normal English way of pronouncing Russian, to sound /a/ as /i/. Possibly an error in the dictionary that provides the phonetic spellings on Teleprompters...?
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Next, a few strange or overused words:
Robust. A robust diplomatic initiative, robust economy, robust protocol. Nuff said.
Concerning (as predicate adjective). Polistra finds this one especially concerning.
Efforting. Polistra is efforting a lookup on this one.
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Finally, the phrases.
1. Is the self-answered rhetorical question an epidemic? Absolutely. Is it annoying? Absolutely. Can we get through one hour without hearing it? Absolutely not.
2. Does Polistra wish people would avoid the self-answered rhetorical question going forward? Absolutely.
3. The X's and O's. Polistra confesses that she finds this phrase totally meaningless. She suspects the folks who use it don't know what it means either, but it's certainly common enough.
4. Homicide bomber. Specialty of Fox News and several other conservative commentators. Both redundant and inaccurate. Redundant because the concept of homicide is already contained in 'bomber'; everyone knows that a bomber intends to kill. Inaccurate because the whole reason for creating the original phrase 'suicide bomber' was to distinguish the Mohammedan bomber from others. The kamikaze is much harder to deter or defend against. Switching the term to 'homicide' removes this special reminder.
5. Can Polistra tolerate one more utterance of "Not so much"? Not so much.
Labels: Language update