The New Oxford American Dictionary announced that 2009’s Word of the Year is unfriend, a verb that needs no explanation to Facebook users who friended all of their casual acquaintances only to realize they really don’t care to know the sordid, tedious, and/or depressing details of their lives. I suppose people also use unfriending as a way to make pointed statements about their social life, but I don’t abide by that strategy. I keep my friends close and my enemies closer, so that I’ll know how they’re faring in Farmville and Mafia Wars.
I’m not a rabid Facebook user, but I do a weekly lurk. I did unfriend one girl who went to my high school and who I talked to maybe twice in my life, because she kept posting real-time updates about her ongoing domestic abuse situation (“He’s yelling at me right now and the kids are crying!”) The most disturbing thing is that I just couldn’t bring myself to feel anything beyond disgusted voyeurism, as if a stranger had exposed himself to me, and so I unfriended her. “I banish thee from thy orb of cohorts.”
Among the other words under consideration for Word of the Year (here), I rather fancied intexticated (because it’s fun to say), funemployed (because it sounds glorious), birther (because the whole stink about Obama’s birth certificate bordered on farcical), and teabagger (because it makes me giggle). By the way, tramp stamp has been in usage for at least 10 years, but apparently not in lexicography circles.
On an entirely unrelated note, today I discovered my new favorite website: People of Wal-Mart. Actually, this is not an unrelated note, because I can’t write anymore about new words due to having just blewn all of my alloted writing time by perusing pictures of Wal-Creatures.