Khaya Dlanga

The Word of the Year

2010-12-14 13:29

We have had a very interesting year. And this was even before we had the adventures of the World Cup. And that was before we started talking about Mr Dewani.

My selections for Word of the Year are not based on any scientific research nor any Google search results. I have deliberately gone against anything as tjatjarag as that. Who needs facts? We all know that they have unseemly tendencies.

This is a personal selection of words that I believe resonated and resounded in South Africa in 2010. Chief, of course, I am expecting you to agree, unless you have rubbish in your trousers, which means you must just go jump!

Business Word of the Year
This one must go to a popular word amongst the trade unionists: Tenderpreneur. I have no idea who coined this phrase, but it is brilliant and we love it. It explains those who relentlessly chase after tenders with the passion of an entrepreneur. Whoever coined the phrase should at least be as famous as the word itself. If anybody knows who coined the phrase, please enlighten us with your knowledge in the comments section.

Name of the Year

This one must go to Philip. If you followed the World Cup in South Africa, you will be aware of the slogan that accompanied the great spectacle that was brought to South Africa by Fifa. The slogan went thus, “Feel it. It is here.” According to legend, a caller called a radio station in a province that shall remain nameless and proceeded to say, “Philip is here!” in his excitement, not knowing that the slogan was in fact, “Feel it. It is here.” Of course, the name South Africa loved to hate, Diego Forlan, is also a contender but he doesn’t come close to Philip. Even Paul the Octopus can’t take away our Philip.

World Cup Word of the Year
This one is goes to Vuvuzela. I happened to write a tweet on Twitter that said, “The sound of the Vuvuzela is the only thing that can be heard from space.” That tweet was retweeted thousands of times around the world, it was translated and retweeted; it even made its way to the LA Times and the New York Times. So Vuvuzela takes this one. No contenders.

House Music Word of the Year
This is a late breaking one as the song was released just a couple of months ago. The word is Jezebel. Jezebel refers to a woman who sleeps with DJs, almost exclusively. But doesn’t end there, she will sleep with a number of them because, well, she can. When that song plays at the club and you’re a Jezebel, it must be really awkward for you.

Phrase of the Year
This is a tough one. There were so many. Who can forget Julius Malema’s outburst - responsible for more than half of the shortlisted phrases? “You are a small boy” has to be one of Julius Malema’s classics. The others being “Rubbish is what is in your trousers,” and “White tendencies”, as he said to a British journalist. However, the winner has to be Mr Visagie and his outburst during an E-TV news studio interview where he tried to touch the host, to which the host repeatedly replied, “Don’t touch me on my studio.” Of course we all know what he meant to say.

Twitter Word of the Year
This one goes to #deathby. Yes, the hashtag and combining the word is deliberate. The word is used whenever it is appropriate to do so, for example, “#deathby Khanyi saying that she will not feel sorry for poor people, she will have a croissant and blue cheese anyway.” Or, #deathby this weather. The phrase actually ‘originated’ from my cousin @xolisadyeshana who said that all that time. When @Boity started hanging out with us, she too started using it and put it on Twitter and hash tagged it and from then on, it has taken on a life of its own. It is constantly trending in South Africa.

Word of the Year
There are several contenders, they include “tjajtarag” and “agent”. All of the above were contenders. However “tendencies” is without doubt the word of the year. So don’t be tjatjarag in the comments sections with your agent-like tendencies!

That is all. As you were. 
- Follow Khaya on Twitter.

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Read more on:    khaya dlanga

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