It’s a word – no it’s a phrase

The first visual that popped into my mind when I read the 2011 word of the year was nearly everything designed by the prolific Karim Rashid.

karim rashid designs, squeezed middle, Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2011, lexicographers, misdirected definitions, words and phrases, global relevance

Last week, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year (WOTY) 2011 was revealed:

Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2011, squeezed middle, lexicographers, misdirected definitions, words and phrases, global relevance

I know what you’re thinking. I had the same reaction. That’s not a word, and did I miss its usage?

I think of that phrase as a condition, and that’s quite different from a lexicographic (is that a word?) entry. Slate’s David Haglund wrote a terrific post on this very subject. I could not have expressed my thoughts better on why 2011’s WOTY is a loser.

“Occupy” summed up 2011 for me. Both as a word, and if you want to get technical, as a condition.

Far more interesting was the 2011 List of Banished Words. Oh, here were the frontrunners and the 2010 WOTY and 2009 WOTY, as a point of reference.

Images © Karim Rashid: Matryoshkarim Nesting Furniture, 2011; K-8 Dogbowl, 2003; Totem Desktop Landscapes, 1999

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