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Facebook wins again: the 2009 New Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year is "unfriend", a term that apparently defined "to remove someone as a 'friend' on a social networking site such as Facebook." Now in addition to promoting the decay of polite society, Facebook is ruining my language.

"Unfriend" was chosen over such universally accepted words as "netbook," "sexting," "tramp stamp," and "teabagger," which it turns out is now used with a complete lack of irony to describe participants in the Tea Party movement. (Let's just say that "teabagger" means something completely different where I come from.) This proves the voice of Facebook dominates that of the traditional mass media, at least within the offices of the New Oxford American Dictionary. And yes, Google assures me that the publisher of the NOAD, the Oxford University Press, does indeed have a Facebook page. Not that I'd go to Facebook to confirm it. Sure, that may be bad journalism, but I've got my principles.

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To be continued...


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