WORDSMITHS: Dr Robert Smith, senior lecturer in English at SCU and Dr Moya Costello, lecturer in writing at SCU they are pictured in the SCU Library.
WORDSMITHS: Dr Robert Smith, senior lecturer in English at SCU and Dr Moya Costello, lecturer in writing at SCU they are pictured in the SCU Library. Patrick Gorbunovs

New year, new words

BURQINI was the 2011 Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year and fracking took out the People's Choice Word of the Year.

The religiously compliant swimsuit was chosen by the as word of the year after it won the fashion category.

Fracking come from the environment category.

This year's list of finalists has been announced and the voting is open until 5pm on February 1 on the dictionary's website.

We put some of the 2012 finalists to SCU experts Dr Robert Smith, senior lecturer in English education and Dr Moya Costello, lecturer in writing.

They reviewed some of the new words in a way that was similar to how Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton comment on movies on TV.

Dr Costello loved yarn bombing.

"Yarn bombing has come up because those crafts are currently fashionable. Knitting has regained kudos at a time when people are thinking about making things themselves, now that the current way we live is unsustainable," she said.

Dr Smith did not think yarn bombing deserved five stars, and awarded it only two stars as "it is a new phrase to express a new practice that has emerged" but "I don't think it will last".

He said the role of technology in the process is as a source of new words as well as a medium to get them validated and spread around.

"It is online where new words come up first. After people come up with a new word, they spread them around a group around them to make them useful, fashionable or even cool," he said.

"The next step is when, very quickly, the word gets into SMS texts, emails, blogs and then it goes into newspapers."

OUR PICKS

  • Agriculture: Peachcot. Noun. A stone fruit with a smooth skin of an apricot colour with red tinges, larger than an apricot but smaller than a peach, with a blend of peach and apricot flavours. (peach + (apri)cot)
  • Arts: Yarn bombing. Noun. The covering of public fixtures such as power poles, statues, etc, in knitted or crocheted coloured yarn, as a form of street art.
  • Communications: Phantom vibration syndrome. Noun. A syndrome characterised by constant anxiety in relation to one's mobile phone and an obsessional conviction that the phone has vibrated in response to an incoming call when in fact it hasn't.
  • Environment: Fugitive emissions. Plural noun. Unintended emissions of pollutant gases or vapours which escape from equipment through leaks, as methane gas from coal seam gas mines.
  • Fashion: Hobo glove. Noun. A style of glove with no fingertips.
  • Social interest: Mummy porn. Noun. A genre of erotic fiction designed for women.

SOURCE: www.macquariedictionary.com.au



70 firefighers, 8 water-bombing planes help at bushfire

70 firefighers, 8 water-bombing planes help at bushfire

"Challenging" bushfire now under control, but conditions may change

Inside the century old hydro plant which could power a town

premium_icon Inside the century old hydro plant which could power a town

It was first opened on Christmas Eve way back in 1925

Heartbroken bride-to-be has wedding ring stolen

premium_icon Heartbroken bride-to-be has wedding ring stolen

Nightmare robbery just two weeks from couple's big day

Local Partners