alphaDictionary Announces Top 10 Words of 2006

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The alphaDictionary language resource website announces its top 10 words of 2006: amnesty, Hezbollah, google, Islamophobia, backdate, undocumented, nonproliferation, pretexting, hybrid, Wi-Fi along with the reasons.

So, What's the Good Word

The Lexiteria, parent company of, the online language resource website, today announced its Top Ten English words of 2006.

alphaDictionary's top words were chosen for their newsworthiness based on responses from visitors to the alphaDictionary site, participants of its word discussion group, the Alpha Agora, and subscribers to its popular word-of-the-day series, "So, What's the Good Word". These factors were then checked against how many times the word appears on the web using the major search engines.

Putting all these factors together, alphaDictionary editors came up with the following list:

1. amnesty--This word, based on the Greek word for forgetfulness and akin to "amnesia", refers to a case of legal amnesia about wrong-doing. Congress seems split on the question of whether we should forget about the illegal status of residents without proper documentation.

2. Hezbollah--The organization whose attack on northern Israel caught everyone by surprise and brought "Islamophobia" to fourth position on our list this year.

3. google--The Web's dominant search engine lost its trademark to the ever-hungry English dictionaries.

4. Islamophobia--At last English has a near antonym for "anti-Semitic", which is used only in reference to one of the Semitic peoples.

5. backdate--Back-dating has always been a 'no-no' but the discovery that corporate executives with multimillion-dollar salaries were backdating their stock options to increase their income put it on the tips of our tongues.

6. undocumented--Illegal aliens move to remove the stigma of "illegal" from their press.

7. nonproliferation--Iran and North Korea brought this word back in the news in 2006 with their nuclear programs.

8. pretexting--The stock-and-trade of PIs like Philip Marlowe and Jim Rockford gets named when executives at Hewlett-Packard get involved.

9. hybrid--Higher gas prices moved this word out of the vocabulary of environmentalists into main stream talk.

10. Wi-Fi--The latest (last?) step in making the Wired Society wireless.

The voting was close for the Word of the Year. "Hezbollah" was the favorite of alphaDictionary voters but "amnesty" was finally chosen because of its longer stint in the news and larger number of occurrences on the Web.

"'Amnesty' is interesting because of its relationship to amnesia." said Dr. Robert Beard, president of The Lexiteria, "We have to forget all the criticism in the press this year to offer amnesty to those currently living illegally in the US."


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