Word of the Year 2007: category “online”

Time to look at the Macquarie Dictionary‘s nominations for Word of the Year and decide how to vote. Since we’re online, we’ll start with the category online

I’m disappointed with the choices. The criterion is “the most valuable contribution to the English language in 2007.” All of these words pre-date 2007, and in this category the Macquarie faces its strongest criticism for being slow to add new data.

Four of the terms refer to quite specific technologies or phases of Internet development, and I reckon all of them will sound completely yesterday in just a year or two.

cyber cheating
noun 1. plagiarism of material sourced on the internet.
2. engagement in an online romance, the conduct of which constitutes unfaithfulness to one’s spouse or lover.
noun a blog which is contrived for marketing purposes. [f(ake) + (b)log]
noun 1. an internet posting which is extremely short, designed to give a brief but immediate text update.
–verb (i) (microblogged, microblogging)
2. to issue such an internet posting.
–microblogging, noun
–microblogger, noun
web 2.0
noun a perceived altered state of the world wide web, equivalent to a second generation of a software product, which features social networks, creative commons, wikis and other such sites that encourage user input and information sharing.

“Blogging” as a concept will soon sound as outdated as “desktop publishing” does now. Anything with “cyber” in it will fade fast too. Cheating is cheating, no matter what the medium.

So that leaves as my choice:

noun the sabotage of online computer games, virtual sites, etc., by players intent on causing havoc rather than abiding by the rules of the game.
–griefer, noun

I like this because it echoes English working-class slang. Perhaps I’ve watched The Bill too much over the years (I’ve dropped it now), but I can hear a Cockney “He was causing me grief, Sarge.” And “griefer” also echoes “grifter”.

So that’s my vote. Griefing. Do you agree?

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