Have the last word on annual dictionary update

Bonnie Johnson and Karlee Dennien experience "phantom vibration syndrome", one of the "words" nominated for word of the year by Macquarie Dictionary Online.
Bonnie Johnson and Karlee Dennien experience "phantom vibration syndrome", one of the "words" nominated for word of the year by Macquarie Dictionary Online. Renee Pilcher

PEACHCOT, yarn bombing, fiscal cliff, c***-block, jorts, diabesity, dilligaf, frape, mummy porn...which is your word of 2012?

Yep, those busy bees at the Macquarie Dictionary lab have had their ears to the ground all year, once again collecting all the new words that have gripped the nation, entered the vernacular and impacted our lives, to choose a Word of the Year in the annual update of the Macquarie Dictionary Online.

The categories have been selected, the nominations are in, and voting opened on Monday for what we Aussies think is the most striking contribution to Australian English in 2012.

The voting will determine the People's Choice.

The overall winning word will be selected by the Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year committee, chaired by the Vice-Chancellor of Sydney University.

Gympie State High English head of department Emma Palm said yesterday the English language was constantly evolving and that was not necessarily a bad thing.

"Language is not static," she said.

"Taste and fashion influence our usage, which means some words are rarely written or spoken. Our access to international media has also influenced the words we choose; for instance, very few people use drongo or dingbat as put-downs now.

"My favourites this year are: technomite, peachcot, silo mentality, phantom vibration syndrome, second screener, jorts, diabesity, passive drinking, self-quantifying and Sputnik moment.

"Politically, I'm disturbed about the dehumanising effect of using terms such as enterprise migration agreement, IMA and green-on-blue, when it's people we're talking about, not just numbers."

The overall winning word will be announced on February 6.

Vote for your favourite on the Macquarie Dictionary website.



First World problem

A problem that relates to the affluent lifestyle of the First World such as having to settle for plunger coffee when one's espresso machine won't work


A Maori who has left NZ to live in Australia


Acronym for Do I Look Like I Give a F***?

Phantom Vibration Syndrome

Constant anxiety in relation to one's mobile phone and an obsessional conviction that the phone has vibrated in response to an incoming call

Gympie Times

Topics:  editors picks education english language macquarie dictionary

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