Mental Floss

Sorting Through the Words and Terms of '07


The SFGate recently crowned "subprime" the 2007 Word of the Year, over "surge" and the terms "carbon footprint" and "wide stance." Merriam-Webster, as we reported, picked the interjection "w00t" and the new Oxford American Dictionary chose "locavore." And on January 4th the American Dialect Society will vote for their pick of '07; among the finalists: "astronaut diaper," "bacn," "earmarxist" and "smeet." Also a bunch of other more sexist, racist, and otherwise offensive terms (though definitely circulating throughout the year) I was surprised slash annoyed to see. If any of those are picked, it'll make for a pretty incendiary or at least really awkward press release.

For me, the word of the year is similarly wrought from circumstances--in this case, casting work. "Favored nations" would have to be my vote for the 2007 Word/Term of the/my Year. I had no idea what it meant until casting for a particular show whose producers knew we wouldn't get anyone on board unless all the talent's paychecks were identical; simply blurting "favored nations" meant there would be no equivocating.

Would love to hear your nominations, whether culled from a year of work lingo, inside jokes, or elsewhere...