Joe Clark: Accessibility ¶ Design ¶ Writing

Canadian Word of the Year 2010

Winner: G20

Even in a year in which Vancouver (VANOC) hosted the Olympics (Own the Podium), by far the longest-lived news topic of 2010 was the G20 conference held in Toronto and Muskoka in June. Even as I write this in mid-December, the issues haven’t gone away, nor will they do so even into 2011.

Remember: The word of the year isn’t the cutest neologism but whatever represents the most important new concept.

Sentimental favourite: busty hookers

I was crossing my fingers for half the year dearly hoping nothing important would come up to bump busty hookers out of the Nº 1 spot. Alas, it was not to be.

This delicious buzzword for Rahim Jaffer and his businessman friends’ nighttime exploits started out as a Twitter hashtag and grew to such a juggernaut it found its way to the Toronto Star, where Kevin Donovan gave us the year’s best lede: “An investigation into Toronto businessman Nazim Gillani’s business affairs thrust a GTA private investigator into a world peppered with allegations of cocaine use, laundered money, a ‘pump-and-dump’ stock fraud, busty hookers and political intrigue.” (Ashley Csanady in RRJ claims it happened in the reverse order; it didn’t.)

Full list

I stopped taking entries for this list on 2010.12.16.

Canadian melody
Grating four-note audible pedestrian signal that is claimed, without testing, let alone proof, to be superior to chirps or other sounds (2010.12.20)
One who fetishizes the feel and physicality of books. (Coined by Dougie Coupland just under the wire for ’010 but after I declared the year’s winner) (2010.12.22)
Fusillade of recriminatory attacks by ill-informed online commentators. (Misspelled in original: There’s no dispute it takes two Hs, as witchhunt does.) Mark Jeftovic attributes the word to Atul Chitnis, who writes: “While I coined the word independently sometime in 2008, it is way too obvious not to have been coined by others as well.... [T]his one seems to be the earliest reference by someone else that I could find... I remember coining/using the word in a flamewar around FOSS.IN in late 2008” (2010.12.12)
Roxy flu
Performance-threatening hangover pro hockey players suffer from the day after cavorting at Vancouver pro-hockey-player hotspot the Roxy (2010.12.07)
judicial jihad
Derisive term used inside CSIS – according to a Wikileaks-released diplomatic “cable” – to describe Canadian legal “obstacles” in fighting terrorism (2010.11.30)
“Forget It, Drive On”: Name for claimed habit of police who can’t be bothered getting out of their cars to investigate a suspicious sighting. Blamed for late capture of Russell Williams, later convicted of murder (2010.11.28)
Bloor and Ossington, Toronto. (“Blossington Post”) (2010.11.28)
liberation therapy
Common name for angioplasty used to remediate chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, a hypothesized cause of multiple sclerosis
gravy train
Mythic addiction to self-interested overspending in Toronto city government as persistently invoked in Rob Ford’s 2010 campaign for mayor (2010.11.17)
Premier Dad
Disparaging nickname (2010.08.09) for Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty inspired by ostensibly paternalistic social-engineering legislation passed or proposed in his time in office (2010.10.25)
peak masculinity (also cap)
Conception that men have reached an apex of influence and domination and it’s all downhill from here(2010.10.24)
hoarding; hoarder
Apartment tenant, often mentally ill, whose accumulated possessions (newspapers, pet birds) are a fire hazard and block egress from the unit (2010.10.18)
frontier surfing
Cold-weather or cold-water surfing off the B.C. coast (2010.10.18)
Fight for Freedom Coalition, an anarchist group that took credit for firebombing a Royal Bank branch in Ottawa on 2010.05.18(2010.10.18)
turkey dump (drop)
Coming back, as to university, after Thanksgiving (“turkey”) holiday to the news that your boyfriend or girlfriend has dumped you (2010.10.12)
ghost ship
Refugee ship, often undocumented or suspected to be run by criminals, heading for Canada (summer)
long( )form
Supplementary in-depth Statistics Canada questionnaire distributed to a random 20% of respondents, at least until 2011 when it got killed (summer)
Police crowd-control practice of boxing in protesters at an intersection by blocking off one street after another. Used at G20, especially at Queen and Spadina on 2010.06.27
Nissans have increased
Codeword, used in the past tense by convicted Toronto 18 terrorist Zakaria Amara, to refer to intelligence agents tailing him and his coconspirators in Nissan cars
Black Bloc
Self-organized, quasi-anarchistic protesters dressed and facially camouflaged in black, blamed for violence and vandalism at Toronto G20 summit, June 2010
Integrated Security Unit, an amalgam of Toronto, Royal Canadian Mounted, and other municipal police gathered by the tens of thousands in Toronto for the G20 summit, June 2010
fake lake
Artificial “water feature” built into the Canadian Corridor of the giant Toronto media complex for the G20 summit (2010.06.08)
G20; G8
Global financial summits held in Toronto and Huntsville, respectively, June 2010 (2010.06.08)
vampire squid
Corporation that aggressively seeks to dominate – one could say smother – an entire industry. (Bill Houston: “Welcome to the world of Rogers Communications, the Vampire Squid [with apologies to Matt Taibbi (2009)] that seeks to wrap itself around the face of professional sports in Canada”)  (2010.06.05)
One of several nonce terms for the neighbourhood around Gerrard and Jones in Toronto, in the shadow of the shopping centre Gerrard Square (“Jurassic Square”; “Gerrard Scare”)  (2010.05.06)
Nonce term for parody of Jabberwocky riffing on rahimjafferian themes  (2010.05.13)
busty hookers (also #bustyhookers)
Journalistic euphemism for escorts with whom some combination of ex-MP Rahim Jaffer, his wife, MP Helena Guergis, and Jaffer’s business associates allegedly “partied.” Quickly became a trending hashtag. Congrats to Kevin Donovan of the Star for the year’s best lede: “An investigation into Toronto businessman Nazim Gillani’s business affairs thrust a GTA private investigator into a world peppered with allegations of cocaine use, laundered money, a ‘pump-and-dump’ stock fraud, busty hookers and political intrigue”  (2010.04.27)
Name of “notorious” pit bull that attacked a young child and was kept in legal limbo until being euthanized 2010.04.14 (2010.04.27)
Full-body, almost-full-face Muslim covering Quebec proposed to outlaw in public institutions in some cases. Hence niqab ban(2010.04.15)
pull a Helena
A politician losing his or her shit in an airport (after Helena Guergis) (2010.03.29)
Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee (2010.03.13)
Own the Podium
Slogan for a Canadian government program to funnel money into sport development and research for the 2010 Olympics and Paralympics, hopefully translating into medals. Immediately parodied into Pwn the Odium, Blown the Podium (when we missed medals by a mile), Moan the Podium (when we missed by a hair), Own the Goldium (in which bronze and silver count for nothing) (2010.03.13)
TTC sleeper
George Robitaille, a Toronto Transit Commission ticket-taker photographed napping on the job. (Died 2010.11.27) (2010.03.19)

Updated: 2010.12.29 15:44

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