Birds are singing, the sun is shining and I am joyful first thing in the morning without caffeine. Why you ask? Because it is Word of the Year time (or WOTY as we refer to it around the office). Every year the New Oxford American Dictionary prepares for the holidays by making its biggest announcement of the year. This announcement is usually applauded by some and derided by others and the ongoing conversation it sparks is always a lot of fun, so I encourage you to let us know what you think in the comments.
Without further ado, the 2009 Word of the Year is: unfriend.
unfriend – verb – To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook.
As in, “I decided to unfriend my roommate on Facebook after we had a fight.”
“It has both currency and potential longevity,” notes Christine Lindberg, Senior Lexicographer for Oxford’s US dictionary program. “In the online social networking context, its meaning is understood, so its adoption as a modern verb form makes this an interesting choice for Word of the Year. Most “un-” prefixed words are adjectives (unacceptable, unpleasant), and there are certainly some familiar “un-” verbs (uncap, unpack), but “unfriend” is different from the norm. It assumes a verb sense of “friend” that is really not used (at least not since maybe the 17th century!). Unfriend has real lex-appeal.”
Wondering what other new words were considered for the New Oxford American Dictionary 2009 Word of the Year? Check out the list below.
It just struck me that the decade is coming to an end. The most incredible decade imaginable by most anyone’s (born before 1985) standards. It’s also marks a decade of netZoo and WOOZradio. The early days look really funny in retrospect.
Just for kicks, let’s take a look at some of the hilarity that masqueraded as my nascent web presence:
Comic Sans — already sick of the limited web-friendly fonts available, I played a silly trick on the world and used the font that never dare say its own name backwards, or, as one friend righteously recently put it: “Comic Sans is the Mark of The Beast. Shit, I even used it back in 2000 when I went with the Message board-blog hybrid approach (or something).
I wanted to have a list of choice links — but I didn’t want to show my hand in the open. Not amid all the other highly SEO’d meta tagged engaging content on my “home page” (joke). After 9/11 I was a bit more willing to lay it all out there, thought not with quite the hyperlinked artistry of some. Basically, to copy and paste, this is how my linkblock –er, brailleroll — looked in July 2001:
I was already well-rooted as a snobby lo-fi music buff with an emphasis on Chicago indie. BUT clearly inspired from my stint as Smithsonian Folkways webmaster, I decided to profile my then-favorite albums alongside REAL AUDIO clips. Hahahaha. Mind you, before the mp3 renaissance of the late 90’s, Real Audio streams and broadcast.com were the-coolest-things-ever-invented. Surely these songs sounded better in Comic Sans.
By ’02 I had mellowed a bit. Live365 offered streaming at higher bandwidths and I focused a bit more on WOOZradio (which in its 10+ year existence has yet to break even for a month. I pay to play your music). What I could never do now that I loved doing then was music listings of concerts that I would go to in Chicago (where I lived) if I could clone myself.
Laugh at me now — I hope you had half as much fun as I had looking back into the past. The CRAZY thing is that our Comic Sans’d, hacked-together framed message board history is only a decade old. Come to think of it I should have stuck with the blank slate blogging style (with illustrations) I switched to around New Years Eve 2000. I guess I’ve been blogging for a while (with a few years off in between). We’ll look at those middle-aughts later (the WordPress years). What a decade its been!
What silly blog skeletons are gathering dust in your archive?
I saw McCartney over 15 years ago at Soldier Field with the parents and it was one of the greatest concerts I ever saw. Amazingly, at age 67, Sir Paul the Macca was as on top of his game as ever last night at the desert music festival on the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio. He hit nearly all the high notes and many of those are high high high. Over 2.5 hours McCartney and his band played 35 songs. Wow. Standouts were “The End,” “Helter Skelter,” and “Live and Let Die.” See the awesome videos shot below by YouTube user mwillie70. Here’s the setlist via the OC Register:
There’s a ton of blather from me about to go up about his deeply moving performance, largely a tribute to his late wife Linda on the 11th anniversary of her death from breast cancer. Read all about that shortly. But the power of the set list speaks for itself …
Main set: Jet / Drive My Car / Only Mama Knows / Flaming Pie / Got to Get You Into My Life / Let Me Roll It (with a coda of Purple Haze) / Honey Hush / Highway / The Long and Winding Road / My Love / Blackbird / Here Today / Dance Tonight / Calico Skies / Mrs. Vanderbilt / Eleanor Rigby / Sing the Changes / Band on the Run / Back in the U.S.S.R. / Something / I’ve Got a Feeling / Paperback Writer / A Day in the Life > Give Peace a Chance / Let It Be / Live and Let Die / Hey Jude
First encore: Birthday / Can’t Buy Me Love / Lady Madonna Second encore: Yesterday / Helter Skelter / Get Back / Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) -> The End
The latest iteration of Modest Mouse rocked the mid-sized (4,000 capacity) Hollywood Palladium last week leaving most fans — young, old, industry, walk-ins — satisfied. But for those waiting to hear the opening notes of the band’s radio (and video game) hits “Float On,” “Ocean Breathes Salty,” and “Dashboard,” it was an incomplete night.
But “fuck ’em,” as frontman Isaac Brock, would say. For those of us who’ve watched the PNW indie rockers grow from a bunch of drunk ne’er-do-wells to Indie 103.1 and MTV darlings, the show was an encouraging glimpse into the future of an ever-evolving band rediscovering itself in the post-radio, post-MTV era.