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Je ne sais quoi


Word of the Yearはいろいろなところが発表しているのですね。それぞれ独自の選択基準で選んでいるようです。Websterは下記のプレスリリースの書き出しにあるとおり、検索数の多かった語をまず選び、そして、その中から昨年との検索数の差が最も大きかった語が今年の語になるようです。自社で辞書サイトを運営しているからこそできる選定方法ですね。検索数をベースに選んでいることで、Data-drivenと動画ニュースでは説明しています。そこでの一位はcultureでした。STAP細胞に関しても独特のcultureがあったのではと見ることもできるので、同じような問題意識を見出すこともできそうです。

2014 Word of the Year


SPRINGFIELD, MASS., December 15, 2014—Merriam-Webster Inc., America's leading dictionary publisher, has announced its top ten Words of the Year for 2014. This year's list was compiled by analyzing the top lookups in the online dictionary at Merriam-Webster.com and focusing on the words that showed the greatest increase in lookups this year as compared to last year. The results, based on approximately 100 million lookups a month, shed light on topics and ideas that sparked the nation's interest in 2014.

Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year for 2014:
1 Culture
2 Nostalgia
3 Insidious
4 Legacy
5 Feminism
6 Je ne sais quoi
7 Innovation
8 Surreptitious
9 Autonomy
10 Morbidity

一方の Dictonary.comは、統計的処理をするものの最終的には編集者たちが選ぶようです。こちらはexposureを選んでいます。Ebolaだけでなく、ハッカーによる個人情報流出など、幅広い現象を説明できる語のようです。

Dictionary.com’s Word of the Year Is ‘Exposure’
Katy Steinmetz @katysteinmetz Nov. 19, 2014

To choose the word, the editors started scouring headlines in September, using Google Trends (which shows volumes of searches for certain words or phrases over time) and mining their own data to see which words spiked into the public consciousness. This “year end exercise,” the editors say, helps their lexicographers decide which words need to be updated and provides a pool of candidates for word of the year. But in the end, the winner that goes in the word-of-the-year envelope is an editorial choice, unlike outlets like Merriam-Webster, which bases their yet-to-be-announced “WOTY” almost exclusively on lookup statistics.


Je ne sais quoi
[フランス語=I don't know what]

Je ne sais quoi
[uncountable] (from French, often humorous)
a good quality that is difficult to describe
He has that je ne sais quoi that distinguishes a professional from an amateur.

Man, these boneless chicken wings are great.
Yeah, I know-- I finally found myself a wingman.
You're gonna use the wing as your wingman.
Yeah, for the ladies.
How is that gonna help you at all?
It's gonna make me irresistable!
Oh, right, yeah. Gonna give you that certain "je ne sais quoi."
Jenna said what?
Did she mention me by name or was it just, kind of like, was she just talking in general?
I said, "Je ne sais quoi."
I know but what did she say?
Be a wingman-- with new, all-white-meat, boneless chicken wings in three flavors.
And save room for creamy cheesecake bites. This is how you SONIC.

Websterでの説明は以下です。Je ne sais quoiの意味を知らない視聴者も多かったということですよね。

6: Je ne sais quoi
A television commercial shows two men eating Sonic chicken wings, one of whom states that the delicious wings will become his new "wingman" for dating, making him irresistible. His friend is skeptical: "Oh, right, gonna give you that certain je ne sais quoi?" The first man misunderstands and demands: "Jenna said what?"
Je ne sais quoi is an expression that means "a pleasant quality that is hard to describe." In French, the phrase literally means "I know not what." It's used as a noun in English, and, as is often the case with French phrases, is a fancy way of saying what one wants to say.

"Jenna said what?"との空耳が面白いようですが、この男性二人のやりとりがイマイチ理解できない方は以下に丁寧に説明してくれています。

Merriam-Webster offers compelling explanation for its word of the year

“When you put it next to another word, it means something very different. For example, ‘consumer culture’ or ‘rape culture,’ which we’ve been reading about lately.”

Not all lookup spikes are quite that complex. The reason “je ne sais quoi” landed at No. 6, for instance, is “dead simple,” he said.
The fast-food drive-in chain Sonic, known for TV spots featuring two goofy dudes eating in a car, had them munching on boneless chicken wings in September.
“I’ve finally found myself a wingman,” goofy guy No. 1 says of the wings he hopes will make him a chick magnet.
“Oh right,” sneers goofy guy No. 2, “gonna give you that certain je ne sais quoi.”
Responds No. 1: “Jenna said what?”
They mine the word play a couple more times, but you get the picture.
“Since September when this ad came out this word has been close to the Top 10 or in the Top 10 of our lookups almost every single day,” Sokolowski said.
Fast-food aside, he called this year’s list a relatively sober one.