A MOST TELLING AWARD

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

The Global Lan­guage Mon­i­tor has de­clared that “404” is their of­fi­cial “Word of the Year.” The Austin-based re­search group de­ter­mined the win­ner based on fre­quency of ac­tual us­age, us­ing com­puter-aided track­ing of some 275,000 print, elec­tronic and so­cial me­dia sources. Yes well. The num­bers-only des­ig­na­tion ap­peared a lot re­cently at the Oba­macare web­site, but we al­ready know all that.

“404 is the near-uni­ver­sal nu­meric code for fail­ure on the global In­ter­net, aug­ment­ing its orig­i­nal use as ‘page not found’ ” ex­plains chief an­a­lyst Paul JJ Pay­ack. “The re­cent Oba­maCare launch de­ba­cle in the US is only a rep­re­sen­ta­tive ex­am­ple of a much wider sys­tem fail.”

And round­ing out the top-five words of the year, in sec­ond place, it’s “fail”, a sin­gle word of­ten used as a com­plete sen­tence (Fail!) to sig­nify fail­ure of an ef­fort, project, or en­deavor”, Mr. Pay­ack says.

“Hash­tag” is third, des­ig­nat­ing the pound sign re­born as the all-pow­er­ful Twit­ter hash­tag. In fourth place, speak­ing of hash­tags, is @Pon­tifex, the ac­tual hash­tag of the ever-more pop­u­lar Pope Fran­cis. And in fifth place, it’s “op­tic”, which the an­a­lyst says is threat­en­ing to over­take the “nar­ra­tive” - just as the nar­ra­tive over­took the phrase ra­tional dis­course.

“This does not bode well for an in­formed po­lit­i­cal dis­cus­sion,” Mr. Pay­ack says.

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