My minor/correllate in college was this completely fabricated (and completely awesome) linguistics/anthropology/media studies track which I somehow got the anth department to approve and call “langauge, new media, and expressive culture.” Which basically came down to a lot of crap about, like, what languages people use on their Facebook walls, how blogs perpetuate certain linguistic style amongst their commenters to create a community (Gawker vs Perez vs HRO), the fact that abbreviations for texting/tweeting etc are creative adaptations to constrants and not the end of the English language (fuck you, prescriptivists), what the actual logic of cat macro text (“LOLSPEAK”) is and academizing other various 4chan garbage and memes, and then an awful lot using Google for statistics on when and where phrases or alternate spellings became popular. Man, was that all useless and awesome or what.
Point of all that was that I totally miss it a few years later, which is why things like this make me cream my linguistpants. (Also, you know, links including Monty Python sketches never hurt anyone.) Top records / videos / films of the year? Yawn (though I’m sure I’ll post my own lists at some point.) Top searched words of the year at Merrimam-Webster??! Hell yes! Dictionary.com’s top lists are a bit less reassuring though - I’m not sure if I should be depressed or proud of the American public that so many of them needed to look up the definition of “socialism.”