January 10, 2005

Phrases of the year.

A panel of linguists picked "red state, blue state, purple state" as the phrase of the year. I don't know how purple got in on that action. I heard very little of that and very much of the other two. Is Wisconsin a "purple state"? According to their standard, it supposedly is, but I've only heard it called a "blue state." But then, I'm here in the absolutely blue core of the place. There should be a word for something with a blue core surrounded by lots of red, which seems to be the usual situation in a supposedly "purple" state, but I can't think of any real life object like that. Maybe a fried egg, if only yolks were blue and whites were red, and yolks were a lot smaller.

What other phrases did the linguists consider? "Flip-flopper," "meet-up," "mash-up," "wardrobe malfunction." Hmmm... not terribly strong competition. No "Rathergate," but I'll bet after going through the phrase of the year ritual for 15 years, they are absolutely sick of "-gate."

Then there were the "most creative" phrases. "Pajamahadeen" won, but there were also "hillbilly armor," "nerdvana," and "lawn mullet." I've never seen the term "lawn mullet," but I see it's "a lawn that is neatly mowed in the front but unmowed in the back." Funny, but embarrassing for those of us who have it.

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