Monday, January 09, 2006


When I'm not sitting here pouring Coca-Cola on my pants, I'm often poring over the recent news making its way to the front pages of internet news sites. I always look forward to mandatory end of the year "best words" pieces that have a panel of writers, journalists, professors or auto workers vote for the year's best "made-up" word.

For example, some of 2005's new words:

Katrinagate - obvious enough
truthiness - truthy, but not facty
podcast - those iPod programs, though "experts" say the term is much older
jump the couch

"Jump the couch" refers to the way in which Tom Cruise went certifiably nuts on Oprah over Katie Holmes, but its roots delve so much deeper. "Jump the couch" is a play on "jump the shark" which is a term used for when a TV show gets ridiculous and the plots get more outlandish. The example embodied in the phrase is taken from "Happy Days," which in 1982, had a plot that consisted of Fonzie jumping over a shark while water-skiing WITH his leather jacket still firmly affixed to his body. Since then, "jumping the shark" refers to the point of ridiculousness from which there is no return for a TV show. This is your history/pop culture lesson for the day. Please try to forget it as soon as you can and learn something that could change the world for the better.