With Words that Last

Others, like ‘‘climate porn’’ or ‘‘uberveillance’’ might have not yet reached their peak.
— Sydney Morning Herald

WE’RE about to leave the noughties, but not all of the words born in the past decade will necessarily be coming with us, a quick review shows. Some of the Macquarie Dictionary’s words of the year for 2006 still stack up pretty well: the inaugural list introduced ‘‘affluenza’’, ‘‘muffin top’’ and ‘‘cyberstalking’’ into our official lexicon. ‘‘Cyberathlete’’ didn’t fare as well as ‘‘cyber cheating’’ from 2007’s list, which also gave us ‘‘carbon footprint’’ and ‘‘infomania’’. ‘‘Pod slurping’’, referring to the act of downloading large quantities of computer data to a portable memory device, was named the top word of that year. It has been overshadowed by the ‘‘toxic debt’’ that topped 2008 – in more ways than one. Some words succumbed to more popular alternatives: ‘‘arse antlers’’ was no match for ‘‘tramp stamp’’ when referring to a lower back tattoo. Others, like ‘‘climate porn’’ or ‘‘uberveillance’’ might have not yet reached their peak. There have been some memorable additions internationally as well. The author and blogger Adam Jacot de Boinod noted New York gave us the ‘‘cuddle puddle’’ in 2002 to describe a bunch of exhausted ravers, the same year that Britain takes credit for ‘‘trout pout’’ for botoxed lips.Of the Australian words to make it to the worldwide list of the best of the decade, as quoted in the Guardian, we offered up ‘‘barbecue stopper’’ in 2002 to describe an important electoral issue, ‘‘dog-whistle politics’’ for views heard only by supporters, and ‘‘flash packers’’ for comfortable but intrepid travellers.

Citation: Sean Nicholls and Leesha McKenney, December 17, 2009, "With Words that Last", Sydney Morning Herald, p. 26.

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