Monday, January 08, 2007

WORDS: Putting the "Antics" in "Semantics"

I'm at the end of another day, but does it find me at the end of a long, soul-searching, intellectually and creatively fulfilling post? Alas, it does not. I got distracted by my blogroll way down there somewhere in the mist-shrouded reaches of the sidebar to our right. I've been meaning to straighten it up for a while now, and I was suddenly struck by the fact that now! I must tidy it! Now!

So now, rather than having one long ragtag list of links, I've grouped things into three areas -- Books, Readers & Writers; Friends & Family; and Daily Distractions -- for no reason other than that these struck me as logical and right. It wasn't until I started dropping names within categories that I realized the flaw in my science: some of my favourite readers and writers are also my friends, and many of my friends can actually read and write. And of course I find all of them terribly, terribly distracting. But once I commit to a system, my follow-through is nothing if not pig-headed stalwart, so there you have it. Make of my blogroll what you will. At the very least, it's alphabetized.

Do you care about any of this? Do I? (Well, a little bit, but not with the blue-flame intensity I did 45 minutes ago.) Do you care about it as much as, say, you care that the word "pluto" has been chosen as the 2006 word of the year? Not as a noun, though. No, sir. This former planet/loveable cartoon dog has been verbed in a way that Rusty has aptly characterized as Coupland-esque. Look for it in such sentences as "Did you hear what happened to Donald Rumsfeld? Dude got plutoed!"

The decision to recognize this new meaning for the word "pluto" (the official definition is "to demote or devalue someone or something")
was made by the American Dialect Society, a noble institution that has been nitpicking word usage for 117 years. The society counts linguists, grammarians, historians, and independent scholars among its members.
"Our members believe the great emotional reaction of the public to the demotion of Pluto shows the importance of Pluto as a name," said society president Cleveland Evans. "We may no longer believe in the Roman god Pluto, but we still have a sense of personal connection with the former planet."
What's especially interesting is that "plutoed" has come into its own as a verb mere days before President George W. Bush announces his strategy for the war in Iraq. How handy. Hopefully we'll see some more plutoing in the White House very soon.

5 comments:

The Zero Boss said...

See, this is another reason why I nuked my blogroll. Categorizing the thing was a BITCH.

tuckova said...

If only ordering the blogroll were the only time-consuming obsession in life! There's also reading the blogroll. And ordering the sushi roll can take a lot of time and planning, too.

landis said...

Hah! I'm hoping for a Cheney plutoing, myself.

Jane said...

"...rather than having one long ragtag list of links, I've grouped things..."

Hee! I totally rearrange my links on a regular – some would say pathological – basis.

And I'm pleased to be grouped among your friends, friend.

David said...

Bush plutoed even before he took office, but the adulatory media kept him on life support till 9/11 gave him a boost.

Then he plutoed again.

Now he's beyond plutoing. He's getting closer to Deimos.