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Not the hoi polloi

Posted by Stickler on December 05, 2004

In Reply to: Re: Hoi polloi posted by David FG on December 03, 2004

: : : : : : : Words of 2004 at http://www.merriam-webster.com/info/04words.htm

: : : : : :
: : : : : : DEFENESTRATION?!? Wazzupwiddat?

: : : : : That one's been around a long time. It means throwing someone out a window.

: : : : These were the words most frequently looked up on M-W this year.

: : : What I mean is, I can understand why words like blog, incumbent, insurgent, hurricane, partisan, etc. are on the list. These words all figure prominantly in trends or events of 2004. But I can't think of a reason why "defenestration" is such a topic of interest. It seems totally out of left-field! Any suggestions?

: : Perhaps because the hoi polloi discovered it and found it to be funny. I did, as I'm one of them--DH

: I think my favourite incident in history has to be the Defenestration of Prague. Not only is that a beautiful phrase, the incident was ripely comic as well.

: For those not familiar with it, look it up and enjoy.

: DFG

1. "Fenestra," meaning window, is one of the prettiest words in Italian.
2. One should not say "the hoi polloi," since "hoi" means "the." What you are saying is "the the common people." Better to say "because hoi polloi discovered it..."