Berkeley, California - “Infobesity,” “lumbersexual,” “phablet.” As usual, the items that stand out as candidates for word of the year are like its biggest pop songs, catchy but ephemeral. But even a fleeting expression can sometimes encapsulate the zeitgeist. That’s why I’m nominating “God view” for the honor.

So says UC Berkeley linguist Geoffrey Nunberg in his annual National Public Radio feature, which aired December 10th. He explains:

“It’s the term that the car-service company Uber uses for a map view that shows them the locations of all the Uber cars in an area and silhouettes of the people who ordered them. The media seized on the term this fall when it came out that the company had been entertaining themselves and their guests by pairing that view with their customer data so they could display the movements of journalists and VIP customers as they made their way around New York….”

To read more of what Nunberg said and to listen to him online, click on this link to NPR’s All Things Considered.