The New Oxford American Dictionary on Monday named its 2009 "Word of the Year," and listed as one of the finalists "teabagger."
Fortunately, its definition was different than the sexual connotation many media members and liberal bloggers conveyed by using the term.
Regardless, its inclusion is still quite offensive to millions of Americans.
I guess the good folks at NOAD weren't concerned with that when they wrote the following press release:
Facebook fans will undoubtedly recognize the New Oxford American Dictionary's 2009 Word of the Year, unfriend.
unfriend - verb - To remove someone as a 'friend' on a social networking site such as Facebook
"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." [...]
Word of the Year Finalists: [...]
Politics and Current Affairs
- Ardi -(Ardipithecus ramidus) oldest known hominid, discovered in Ethiopia during the 1990s and announced to the public in 2009
- birther - a conspiracy theorist who challenges President Obama's US birth certificate
- choice mom - a person who chooses to be a single mother
- death panel - a theoretical body that determines which patients deserve to live, when care is rationed
- teabagger - a person who protests President Obama's tax policies and stimulus package, often through local demonstrations known as "Tea Party" protests (in allusion to the Boston Tea Party of 1773
It really is a different America, isn't it?