Sunday, July 15, 2012

Banned Words Digest

Having been off the women-doing-things beat for awhile, I am still getting up to speed, here. I thought I might check in on a few of our Banned Words on Google News to see how they're doing lately.

The results were edifying. I shall have to do this more often.

Things that are feisty: Canadian football teams, Joe Biden, otters, Pixar's protagonist-shaped mass of red hair (ya think?), Yvette Nicole Brown, and oh my God you have to read this story from the Belfast Telegraph about a Tory MP yelling at the Prime Minister.

An excerpt from that last one:

Nobody could make head nor tail of it as she screamed louder and louder to make her voice heard over the din of the Commons.

The blood pressure rose, her face became redder and redder - rhubarb, tomato, beetroot - up the colour chart it went. Her arm - the one in the sling - started gesticulating widely.

Veteran MP James Gray sat back as far as he could, conscious no doubt of taking one in the eye at any moment.

As the kids on the Tubes say: GPOY.

But back to business! Things that are sassy: E!, Britney Spears, celebrity journalistrixes, Bachelorette Emily Meynard's minidress, Pink's new single.

Things that are plucky: the Oakland A's, faithful dogs, Aussie footballers, tennis player Laura Robson, wee schoolchildren, death-defying seals, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

I sense an opportunity for Science here. There ought to be a more long-term study, with pretty charts breaking down the relative frequencies for each word. (Categories: Women, sports teams, animals, Irishmen, the celebrity-industrial complex.)

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