Lake Superior State University recently issued its annual roundup of words nominated to be "Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness." The list has been compiled since 1976. The list for 2008 includes the word organic. This word has more comments than any other on the list. I guess people are sick of the label organic being placed on nearly everything in an attempt by manufacturers to lure buyers into purchasing something that is perceived as being better or healthier. Not an hour ago, someone at the library mentioned yarn that was labeled as organic, which led to speculation--free-range sheep?
Also today, at a library cooperative meeting, the word visioning was used in a presentation. Say what? Given the opportunity, I will nominate that term for next year's list! I know that English is a living language, and change is part of life, but c'mon, visioning?
Predicting New Words by Allan Metcalf [420 MET] discusses how words come into our language and why some remain in the language for more than a nanosecond. It also has a list of the American Dialect's Society's "Word of the Year" from 1990 through 2001. I checked and found that the word subprime was voted as the 2007 Word of the Year on January 4, 2008. You heard it here first! (Maybe not...)
With this being the presidential election year, I thought I'd mention Hatchet Jobs and Hardball: The Oxford Dictionary of America Political Slang [427.09 HAT] to help guide you through the next 10 months. It's funny, but the word frame, as in "frame the debate," isn't in there! Perhaps it will be in the next edition.