Wednesday, September 26, 2012

“Wangwang” voted as 2012 Word of the Year

This article lifted from, reported that “Wangwang”, a word used by President Benigno Aquino III in his campaign for social reform, was voted Word of the Year.

Wangwang was among the 50 words that were submitted for the Sawikaan 2012, an annual event organized by several cultural heritage organizations led by the Filipinas Institute of Translation (FIT), held as part of this month’s “Buwan ng Wika” celebrations.

It beat several other words that made it to the finals, such as ‘level-up,” “SALN,” “wagas,” “impeachment,” “pagpag,” “fish kill,” “pick-up line,” and “palusot.”

Other words that were included in the finals were popular technology-related words such as “android,” “wifi,” and “trending.”

David Michael San Juan, an instructor at the De La Salle University Filipino Department, presented the word wangwang to the panel on the second day of the three-day summit.

San Juan said wangwang is an adjective describing social ills, corruption in government, increasing foreign debt, disenfranchisement of the lower class, among others.

However, it is also used as a word of protest; a verb that calls to action the public and civil society to act and to push for social change.

Mag-wangwang tayong lahat dahil ito lang ang solusyon sa pagkakaroon ng tunay na pagbabago (We must ‘wangwang’ and call for social change),” San Juan said.

Wangwang, which has no definition in the Filipino dictionary, is an onomatopoeia of the sound that a vehicle siren makes. It became popular after President Aquino used it during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in 2011, to strike at the general abuses done by corrupt government officials as well as their coddlers.

Last year’s Word of the Year was “jejemon,” which referred to a sub-culture of people who write text messages using special characters. Other winning entries were “canvass” (2004), “huweteng” (2005), “lobat” (2006), and “miskol” (2007).

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