Pluto Gets Plutoed

Thanks to poor Pluto’s recent declassification as a planet, the American Dialect Society — an organization founded in 1889 that “is dedicated to the study of the English language in North America, and of other languages, or dialects of other languages, influencing it or influenced by” — picked “plutoed” as its 2006 Word of the Year. The word means “to demote or devalue someone or something.”
Expectedly the word originated when the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union announced Pluto was no longer considered a planet. Other considered words for the Word of the Year include climate canary (“an organism or species whose poor health or declining numbers hint at a larger environmental catastrophe on the horizon”), murse (“man’s purse”), flog (“a fake blog that promotes products”) and macaca (“an American citizen treated as an alien”).
The winning word was the right choice compared to the others. It sounds natural and it’s instantly obvious what it means, if you know that Pluto lost its planet designation.
Murse sounds made up or fake (funny, words are generally made up). I haven’t come across climate canary nor macaca. The latter isn’t attractive considering the last part of the word has an ugly word. Flog has another meaning and the general public is still getting used to the idea of blogs.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.