Behind Door #12: Word of the Year 2007?

12 December 2006 at 11:52 Leave a comment

The fine folks at Language Log recently blogged about Merriam-Webster choosing truthiness as the Word of the Year for 2006. (This on the heels of the American Dialect Society giving top honors to truthiness in 2005.)

I’ve decided to start campaigning now for my favorite neologism for next year: de-ubiquitinate.

Before I got my current job at Fancypants U., I worked at their medical school gathering CVs and other information from professors in order to apply for various government-sponsored medical research and training grants. The first proposal I worked on was for an immunology grant. Reading the various doctors’ research descriptions was like deciphering a foreign language. Most of the chemical names (5,6-deoxyalkyl-whatchamacallit) soared over my head until I got to one CV that talked about de-ubiquitination. (OK, that really went over my head too. I still don’t know what that means. I think ubiquitin is a protein, so I’m guessing it gets removed.)

It struck me that de-ubiquitination, shorn of any immunological connotations, could prove to be quite a useful concept—especially when applied to celebrities. Tired of all the hype surrounding TomKat? Brangelina? Brittany and KFed? Never fear, let’s just de-ubiqutinate them all.

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Entry filed under: Julkalendar, Language, Science.

Behind Door # 11: Taking the Night Off Behind Door #13: There Oughta Be a Word…

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