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Last Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007, 07:56 GMT
'Plutoed' voted US word of year
Nasa image of Pluto, its moon and the sun
Artist's impression: A "lesser" Pluto with its small moon Charon
"Plutoed" has been chosen as word of the year for 2006 by the American Dialect Society, beating "climate canary" in a run-off vote.

If you have been "plutoed" you have been demoted or devalued, just as happened to the former planet Pluto when its status was downgraded.

A "climate canary" is something whose poor health indicates a looming environmental catastrophe.

This is the 17th time ADS members have voted to choose a word of the year.

"It was good that the society focused on a genuine scientific concern, though I believe the nomination came in from outer space," said committee chairman Professor Wayne Glowka.

Racial slur

The General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union decided last year that Pluto did not meet its new definition of a planet and would be categorised as a dwarf planet instead.

Other words in the running were:

  • flog - an advertisement disguised as a blog or web log
  • prohibited liquids - "fluids that cannot be transported by passengers on airplanes"
  • macaca - "an American citizen treated as an alien"

Macaca is considered by some to be a racial slur.

Former Senator George Allen had a comfortable lead in the polls ahead of last November's Congressional elections when he referred to the son of Indian immigrants as a macaca.

Mr Allen lost to Democrat Jim Webb.

Members of the 117-year-old ADS include academics, writers, editors and linguists.

The society says its vote is for fun only and they do not act in any official capacity of introducing words into the English language.

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14 Sep 06 |  Science/Nature
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'Blog' picked as word of the year
01 Dec 04 |  Technology
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