Saturday, January 23, 2010


Today in my Stylistics class with Kim San San, Kim Soon Soon, and Kim Yan Yan (obviously not their real names), the discussion drifted to the Word of the Decade and the Word of the Year. So we googled it and, "Google" was the word of the decade (American Dialect Society, beating out "blog", and "Unfriend" is the word of the year 2009 (Oxford University Press), while "tweet" is the WOTY declared by ADS.

Google. Blog. Unfriend. Tweet. If they're words of the year/decade/day/minute, then definitions are not necessary. Personally, since I've done all four in some capacity over the past year/decade/day/minute, I'm not going to argue.

I got curious: What is the Word of the Year in the Philippines?
A couple of googles later, this is what I found:

Michael Tan of Philippine Daily Inquirer relates a text scam experience that led to his discovery of the term "bagong modus". Read the article full article here:

Is that the Pinoy Word of the Year? A term that captures the dubious Pinoy propensity for racket ("raket"), and scams? In 2007, it was "Miskol"; I believe "jueteng" and "pasaway" made it to the top of the list prior to 2007. How do people come up with these lists and choices? As far as my googling has taken me, WOTY for 2008 and 2009 have not been revealed.

Because this blog isn't meant to be scholarly, I will not even attempt to go into a discourse on societal influence on semantics. I will leave that up to the folks at Oxford, Merriam-Webster, and UP Sawikaan. Instead, I asked the 3 Kims in my class what their WOTD and WOTY are, based on their individual experiences:

From Blogger Pictures
(The Three Kims!)

Kim San San :
WOTD: "cellphone"-from the words "cell" and "phone"; handy phone; cell means small particles
WOTY: "DOTA"-I don't know what's the meaning of the word, but it's a famous games that I only heard last year.

Kim Soon Soon :
WOTD: "feeler"-pretentious or feeling "exagg"
WOTY: "add"-used often in websites like friendster and facebook; instead of saying "Can you please invite me to your account so that I could keep in touch with you?"

Kim Yan Yan :
WOTD: "hang out"- "gimmick" or "peer jam" like in bars and malls; also going out
WOTY: "shawty"- American slang noun referred to as "woman", "girlfriend", "girl", widely used by Americans especially in their pop music

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