American Dialect Society Names Subprime 2007's Word of the Year
Posted on January 23, 2008
The BBC reports that "Subprime" has been voted the word of the year for 2007 by linguists of the American Dialect Society. Most people are now familiar with the word that is at least partially responsible for sinking stocks this year.
The society says it just charts words or phrases that have become prominent in a particular year, and is not telling people how to speak.Some of the other interesting words used in 2007 included:
"Subprime" means literally "less than ideal" and is the technical term used to describe loans - especially mortgages - made to borrowers with poor credit histories.
A series of defaults on such loans spread panic through much of the banking sector in 2007 as financial institutions realised they had bought many of these loans from one another without knowing how risky they were.
The American Dialect Society is not the only word-of-the-year selector. Earlier this year Merriam-Webster named w00t it's word of the year.