The word "macaca," used by outgoing Republican Sen. George Allen of Virginia to describe a Democratic activist of Indian descent who was trailing his campaign, was named the most politically incorrect word of the year on Friday by Global Language Monitor, a nonprofit group that studies word usage.
"The word might have changed the political balance of the U.S. Senate, since Allen's utterance (an offensive slang term for Indians from the Sub-continent) surely impacted his election bid," said the group's head, Paul JJ Payack.
Allen narrowly lost to Democrat James Webb in November, helping make it possible for the Democrats to capture control of the Senate.
In second place on this year's list was "Global Warming Denier," for someone who believes that climate change has moved from scientific theory to dogma.
"There are now proposals that 'global warming deniers' be treated the same as 'Holocaust deniers: professional ostracism, belittlement, ridicule and, even, jail," Payack said.
In third was "Herstory" substituting for "History." Payack said there are nearly 900,000 Google citations for "Herstory," all based on a mistaken assumption that "history" is a sexist word.
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