Tue, Jan 16, 2007 - Page 14 News List

You've been plutoed! 你被除名了!

Pluto is finally getting some respect — from wordsmiths. "Plutoed" was chosen as the 2006 Word of the Year by the American Dialect Society at its annual meeting on Friday.

To "pluto" is "to demote or devalue someone or something," much like what happened to the former planet last year when the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union decided Pluto did not meet its definition of a planet.

"Our members believe the great emotional reaction of the public to the demotion of Pluto shows the importance of Pluto as a name," said Society President Cleveland Evans. "We may no longer believe in the Roman god Pluto, but we still have a sense of personal connection with the former planet."

"Plutoed" won against "climate canary," defined as "an organism or species whose poor health or declining numbers hint at a larger environmental catastrophe on the horizon."

Other words in the running were: murse (a man's purse), flog (a fake blog that promotes products) and macaca (an American citizen treated as an alien).

Former Senator George Allen, a Republican who sought re-election last year, was comfortably ahead in polls until August, when he referred to the son of Indian immigrants as a macaca, regarded by some as a racial slur. Allen lost to Democrat Jim Webb. You could say that he plutoed himself!

The 117-year-old American Dialect Society includes linguists, grammarians, historians and independent scholars. In conducting the vote, members do so for fun and not in any official capacity of inducting words into the English language. 

 (AP)

愛咬文嚼字的人總算給了冥王星一點公道,「Plutoed」在週五美國方言協會年度會議上被選為二○○六年年度風雲詞彙。

「to pluto」表「降級或貶值某人或某物」,正如同冥王星去年的遭遇,因為國際天文學聯合會裁定冥王星不符合行星的定義標準。

Today's Words 今天單字

1. wordsmith n.

文字愛好者 (wen2 zi4 ai4 hao4 zhe3)

例: James is quite the wordsmith.

(詹姆斯真是愛舞文弄墨。)

2. dialect n.

方言 (fang1 yan2)

例: It's sometimes hard to understand the local dialect.

(這裡的方言有時很難聽得懂。)

3. demote v.t.

降級 (jiang4 ji2)

例: It is illegal to demote an employee without reason.

(無緣無故將一名員工降級是違法的。)

4. induct v.t.

吸收...為 (xi1 shou1…wei2)

例: He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

(他被引入搖滾樂名人堂。)


「我們的會員相信社會大眾對於冥王星遭降級會產生如此大的反應,顯示出冥王星名稱的重要性,」方言協會主席克里夫蘭.伊凡斯表示︰「我們可能不會再相信羅馬主神冥王星,但我們仍對這顆前任行星有個人情感上的連結。」

「Plutoed」擊敗「climate canary」而勝出,後者定義為「健康狀況不佳或數量下降的有機物或物種,預示著即將發生的大規模環境災害」。

其他入選的字包括︰「murse」(男用皮包)、「flog」(促銷產品的假部落格)、「macaca」(被當成外國人的美國公民)。

前共和黨參議員喬治.艾倫去年競選連任時,民調直到八月都遙遙領先,卻在以被部份人士認為種族歧視的「瑪卡卡」稱呼印度移民後裔後,敗給民主黨的吉姆.韋布。你可以說他讓自己落選了。

有一百一十七年的歷史的美國方言學會,成員包括語言學家、文法學家、歷史學家與獨立學者,他們舉行投票只為樂趣,並不具備將字彙引入英語的正式效力。(美聯社/翻譯︰鄭湘儀)

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