Best and worst words of 2018 underlined

The best and worst words of 2018 have been named in an initiative by the Riga Latvian Society and Latvian Writers' Union for the 16th consecutive year, the organizers told the press January 28.

Anyone could submit their own picks, but the best and worst words and sayings - as well as an especially delicious award for word salad - were picked by a jury. 

Seeing as a number of banks introduced instant (or flash) payments last year, it is appropriate that zibmaksājums was chosen to be last year's best word. It's a compound from zibēt (flash) and maksājums (payment).

A number of similar compounds have more or less successfully made it into Latvian, such as zibatmiņa (USB flash drive, from atmiņa - 'memory') and zibakcija (flash mob, from akcija - 'initiative'). 

Meanwhile the worst word was judged to be influenceris, inaccurately transposed from 'influencer', and the failure of this term will surely be compounded as news of the infamous Fyre Festival reach these shores.

The best saying Izkāp no telefona - 'step out of your phone' - is also topical, with a number of phone-related accidents widely reported by the media over last year.

There are two awards for word salad, with one chosen by the Rīga Latvian Society: "The government creation process was crowned without success." (Valdības veidošanās vainagojās bez panākumiem.)

Meanwhile politician Aldis Gobzems' pre-election promise to "do all we can to create a country where people want to be born" (darīsim visu, lai radītu valsti, kurā cilvēki gribētu piedzimt) was the jury's choice for the best word salad of 2018.

The jury consisted of translator and interpreter Dens Dimiņš; Baltic Media language center representative Iveta Grīnberga; editor, terminology expert and translator Aldis Lauzis; translator Ieva Kolmane; communications expert Pēteris Pūrītis; opinion expert Ingrīda Stroda; State Language Committee head Andrejs Veisbergs; and journalist, poet and opinion expert Egīls Zirnis. 

See the entries for last year HERE

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