Wednesday, October 20, 2004

101 years of buzzwords

I enjoyed this Guardian article on each year's buzzword. It discusses the "it" word of each year, starting in 1904 with "hip." (Link via Languagehat)

Some fell into obscurity (1924's lumpenproletariat and 1909's tiddly-om-pom-pom). Some are decidedly British (1914's cheerio). And some are drug-related (1936's spliff, 1966's acid, 1975's detox).

But it's a fun list to go through, wondering whether these were headline words at the time or considered too cutting edge to reach a wide audience. Think of a time when "sacred cow" meant nothing metaphorical (before 1910) or when Watergate was just a hotel (1972).


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