Blogs  / November 20, 2014

Words words everywhere words

by Rebekah Iliff

If you think about it from an extremely fundamental standpoint, words are likely considered the cornerstone of PR.

How one positions them against each other, strings them together, decides how to use or not use them: all are important aspects of PR. What’s more, as cultures evolve, languages evolve too…so knowing which words to use in specific circumstances and across certain “mediums” is also part of the job.

iStock_000026872564SmallSo today, and mostly for fun (who needs a boring, droning blog post anyway?), I bring you: Word play by the numbers.

#1 – Did you know, according to many many many sources, Oxford Dictionary has released their Word of the Year. Beating out “Bae” (slang for one’s beloved, or short for “baby”) and “Normcore” (unisex clothing), the word “Vape” took this year’s crown.

Last year’s winning word was “Selfie.”

I suppose if you’re looking at the OD’s WOTY as a proxy for cultural trends, we’ve gone from self-obsessed to addiction curbing. I’d take the latter any day, as this is a vast improvement. Not great, but better.

#2 – Speaking of self-obsessed, Dictionary.com’s WOTY was released fresh on the heels of the “Vape” bomb. They chose “Exposure.” Ironically, the online dictionary seems to be a year behind the trend as the word “Exposure” would seem to align more with “Selfie.”

Or perhaps I’m thinking too critically about the whole ridiculous thing.

#3 – If you’re a techie, or care at all about tech jargon, the winning word of the year would have to be “Hack.” Which was also the WOTY from 1998 to 2013. Very innovative with words those folks.

#4 – Urban Dictionary, probably because they don’t really care, did not release an official WOTY, but after digging through a few words of the day, we found some doozies:

1. Gucci – This is slang for “What’s up”? I will not even conjecture as to its origin, let’s just go with it.

2. Checkmated – This refers to the incident in which you have three urinals in a row. Let’s say you are standing at the end of said row. Then another person comes in and leaves the urinal in the middle open, and takes the one on the other end of the row. In that case you would say: “Yo, I just got checkmated.”*

*Please don’t cite us as the source for this information, as it would likely tarnish our reputable brand. But on the real, don’t you feel so much smarter knowing that information?

#5 – In celebration of yet another Uber Gaffe, Onclusive has decided to release its very own word of the week.



We actually came up with this a few months ago as we were conducting a group “complaining session” about surge pricing. DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED.

Pronounced “Scroo-bird” – this refers to pretty much anything Uber does that isn’t customer centric and appears to only directly benefit the company itself. For example, last year at SXSW, I ended up paying $40 to Uber for a one-mile ride. In that particular case, I definitely got “Scruberd.”

To end on a positive note (and obviously this entire post is meant to be light and fun), I leave you with one final word. The obvious…


Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy next week’s festivities full of family, friends, and food!