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Oxford University Press on Tuesday crowned the word - defined as “a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations” - its top term of 2012.
Each year Oxford University Press tracks how the English language is changing and chooses a word that best reflects the mood of the year. The publisher typically chooses separate British and American winners. This year’s American champion is “gif,” short for graphics interchange format, a common format for images on the Internet.
Coined by writers of the satirical television show “The Thick of It,” omnishambles has been applied to everything from government PR blunders to the crisis-ridden preparations for the London Olympics.
Oxford University Press lexicographer Susie Dent said the word was chosen for its popularity as well as its “linguistic productivity.”
She said “a notable coinage coming from the word is Romneyshambles” - a derisive term used by the British press after U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney expressed doubts about London’s ability to host a successful Olympics.
Omnishambles was chosen over shortlisted terms including “mummy porn” - the genre exemplified by the best-selling “50 Shades” book series - and “green-on-blue,” military attacks by forces regarded as neutral, as when members of the Afghan army or police attack foreign troops. (For American English speakers, it’s “mommy porn.”)
The Olympics offered up finalists including the verb “to medal,” “Games Maker” - the name given to thousands of Olympic volunteers - and distance runner Mo Farah’s victory dance, “the Mobot.”
Europe’s financial crisis lent the shortlisted word “Eurogeddon,” while technology produced “second screening” - watching TV while simultaneously using a computer, phone or tablet - and social media popularized the acronym “YOLO,” you only live once.
The final shortlisted term is an old word given new life. “Pleb,” a derogatory epithet for lower-class people, was alleged to have been uttered to a police officer by British Cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell. He denied using the term, but resigned.
All the shortlisted words have made a splash in 2012, but editors say there is no guarantee any of them will endure long enough to enter the hallowed pages of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Tuesday, November 13 2012, 06:56 AM CST
Houston brother will be his own attorney in court
June 18, 2013 13:02 GMT
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A Roane County man will face federal gun violation charges next month without an attorney.
The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/17VlXpM ) reported Rocky Joe Houston will represent himself on a charge of possession of a gun by a felon.
The charge came after Houston earlier represented himself in state court on charges stemming from a police chase. He was convicted of evading arrest and reckless endangerment.
Houston and his brother, Leon Houston, were tried, but not convicted, in the 2006 shooting deaths of a Roane County deputy and his ride-along companion.
In federal court, Rocky Joe Houston is claiming the officer who charged him with the felony had no legal authority.
Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com
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