As the end of each year looms, there’s a fun tradition amongst news organisations of publishing lists of “new words” coined during the preceding twelve months. The only slight problem with the lists is that they’re largely nonsense, comprised mostly of phrases made up by lazy journalists on a deadline.
Some lists, though, are deserving of slightly greater consideration – like, for example, this one compiled by “Sprakradet” – The Language Council of Sweden. I mean, “Sprakradet” – that sounds like it might actually be a real thing.
Or maybe not: according to the esteemed Council, 2010 was the year in which “Spotify” became an official Swedish verb. Unfortunately the verb’s definition is also in Swedish so I can’t actually read it, but I assume it must be something along the lines of…
Spotify (v): To repeatedly and embarrassingly fail to launch in the US.
The list also got me wondering which other tech-centric verbs might – or at least should – have been coined this year. Verbs like…
Tumbl (v): To suffer increasing periods of downtime at the same time as the media anoints you the “next big thing” (Replaces last year’s: to Twitter)
Facebook (v): To continue to grow in valuation no matter how many (privacy, ad-scam or Aaron Sorkin movie) scandals surround you. (See also: to sell your soul to the devil)
Quora (v): To build a “highly praised” (and “valuable”) service despite the fact that only twelve people actually use it, just because those twelve people happen to be Silicon Valley investors and reporters. (For antonym see “to Yahoo Answers”)
Instagram (v): To take a shitty photograph, and make it shittier.
Yahoo! (v): To somehow appear even more tragic through the use of optimistic punctuation. (See also: Bebo! Digg! A!O!L!)
TechCrunch (v): To sell your company to a corporation you would criticise others for selling to, at the kind of (reported) valuation that you’d criticise others for accepting, at a time you’d… etc.
More suggestions? Make them in the comments. Best ones win TechCrunch t-shirts.
Happy New Year!