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A Million's Not That Meaningful

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Candy Spelling: In January, I read a story announcing that the 1,000,000th word in the English language would be announced in April.

Candy Spelling

I spent the next three months trying to decide what the word should be. I hoped it would be something motherly and affirmative, maybe "nurturemom," or "momknowsall," "momsaregreat" or even "momlogic."

April, May, and the beginning of June all passed, and still no 1,000,000th word. By that time, I was thinking that, if every word had been used up, maybe something like "Candyisright" was a possibility.

But, alas, last week the winner was announced. The 1,000,000th word in the English language is: Web 2.0.

Wait. That's not even a word. It's a word and a space and a number and a decimal point. I headed for my fourth grade textbook. (I keep everything.) No, "word" is defined as "a unit of language, consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representation, that functions as a principal carrier of meaning." Well, maybe Web 2.0 did qualify, except it was a word and a number, so how could it be a word? It's a term.

Turns out that Web 2.0 was coined by a media expert in 2004 to describe the next generation of Web services. No wonder my fourth grade book didn't know about it. It could have been worse. The final group of words qualifying for one million included "slumdog," "sexting," "defriend," and, finally and thank-goodness-it-didn't-win, "Octomom."

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8 comments so far | Post a comment now
! June 17, 2009, 9:44 AM

There went 2 mins of my life I will never get back. No wonder I have never read her blog.

Jill June 17, 2009, 10:19 AM

Her bio is longer than her article!

KC June 17, 2009, 2:25 PM

I don’t like Web 2.0 but I like Octomom less. I vote for momlogic.

Charlene June 17, 2009, 3:09 PM

Thank goodness it’s not Octomom. Who comes up with this list? Is this THE Candy Spelling?

Renee June 17, 2009, 5:02 PM

Wow, I never knew how many words there were. Thanks for sharing! I love random factoids, they make great Jeopardy clues!

Angie June 17, 2009, 5:04 PM

I love the polka dots she’s wearing in the photo! Can’t wait to read her book!

Jane June 17, 2009, 6:37 PM

This is cute and Candy is a clever writer.

Her book was a fun insight into a world most people will never get to experience, yet it also reminds of us the “woman behind the man” era our mothers probably remember all too well.

Happy to see Candy on MomLogic!

Callista June 26, 2009, 10:22 AM

LOL definitely glad it wasn’t Octomom. I know Web 2.0 is stretching it as a word but welcome to the 21st century!

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