by Mike Duran
Who needs traditional “Best of” lists when there’s so much peculiarity to choose from? For instance, Paste’s Top 100 Albums of 2007 is not nearly as entertaining as The Onion AV Club’s Worst Band Names of 2007. I mean, how can you not love band names like Harmonica Lewinski, Dance Me Pregnant, The Asbestos Tampons, and Yo Momma’s Big Fat Booty Band. My personal favorite? The Color Fred.
But being this here’s a writers’ site, I should probably stay on topic. Earlier this month, Merriam Webster announced its Word of the Year, and I’ve got to admit, I didn’t have a clue. The top ten words for 2007 are:
The number one word of the year?
The word is a hybrid of letters and numbers used by video gamers as an exclamation of happiness or triumph. According to Merriam-Webster’s president, John Morse, “w00t” was an ideal choice for the Word of the Year because it blends whimsy and new technology. Hey, I’m all about blending “whimsy and new technology.” (Although I’ve heard Windows Vista is far more “technology” than “whimsy”.)
But while you’re busy adding words to your vocabularly, Lake Superior State University 2007 List of Banished Words will assist you in subtracting lame lingo. For instance,
NOW PLAYING IN THEATERS — Heard in movie advertisements. Where can we see that, again?
“How often do movies premiere in laundromats or other places besides theaters? I know that when I want to see a movie I think about going to a shoe store.” — Andrea May, Shreveport, Louisiana.
WE’RE PREGNANT — Grounded for nine months.
“Were men feeling left out of the whole morning sickness/huge belly/labor experience? You may both be expecting, but only one of you is pregnant.” — Sharla Hulsey, Sac City, Iowa.
“I’m sure any woman who has given birth will tell you that ‘WE’ did not deliver the baby.” — Marlena Linne, Greenfield, Indiana.
And while we’re on the subject of words and stringing them together, The Book Page’s World’s Worst Book Title was a stimulating read. The competition was stiff, with titles like
“Who Drooled on My Shoulder? A Guide to Sleeping Well on Trans-Atlantic Flights”
“Everything You’ll Need to Remember About Alzheimer’s”
“Curious George and the High Voltage Fence”
“Letting It Go: a History of American Incontinence”
“The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification”
But we’re just warming up, folks. Slate’s The Questions We Never Answered in 2007 contains a whole bunch of questions I, well, never asked. The most baffling, however, were, “Why do men almost never win on ABC’s Wheel of Fortune?” and “When a fly lands on a ceiling, does it execute a barrel roll or an inside loop?” Don’t lose sleep over that one.
And speaking of bums… The Most Hated Company of 2007 is Exxon / Mobil, with good ol’ WalMart a close second. (Come to think of it, why WalMart is so hated may be one of those Questions We Never Answered.) Equally as despicable, however, is The Phoenix’s 100 Unsexiest Men 2007. I can barely stand to look at these brutes! Yet, seeing that Sanjaya made the Top Ten added to my already exultant holiday cheer.
And here in SoCal, no year-end list would be complete without Best Bumper Stickers of 2007.
Ask me about my vow of silence.
Without geometry, life is pointless.
Stable relationships are for horses.
National Spellling Bee Runer-Up
I didn’t believe in reincarnation in my last life, either!
If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother.
Dyslexics are teople poo.
My mother was a moonshiner, and I love her still.
If you believe in telepathy, think about honking.
Who knew that sitting traffic could be so productive?
Well, it’s been great perusing the peculiar with you. No doubt 2008 will have its share of Bigfoot sightings, stupid band names, and wayward senators. From all the staff at NJ: Here’s to a fun, fitful, and increasingly prosperous New Year!