Monday, January 12, 2009

'Bailout' Declared Word of the Year in 2008 - No Legal Expressions Make the List

Last week, the American Dialect Society voted 'bailout' as the word of the year for 2008.

This is the 19th annual vote by the association dedicated to the study of the English language in North America. Its membership includes linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, grammarians, historians, researchers, writers, authors, editors, professors, university students, and independent scholars.

For 2008, there were no law-related runner-up words that made the Society's list.

Earlier Library Boy posts on the topic include:

  • American Dialect Society Words of the Year 2005: Legal Expressions 'Patent Troll', 'Extraordinary Rendition' Make List (January 11, 2006): "The overall winner for 2005 is 'truthiness', popularized by a satirical fake news show on the Comedy Central television channel. It refers to the 'quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true' (...) One of the runner-ups [in the group 'most useful'] was 'patent troll', 'a person or business, especially a lawyer, who applies for or owns a patent with no intention of developing the product but with every intention of launching lawsuits against patent infringers.' A few other law-related terms scored highly in the 'most euphemistic' category (...): 'internal nutrition: force-feeding a prisoner against his or her will' and 'extraordinary rendition: the surrendering of a suspect or detainee to another jurisdiction, especially overseas' ..."
  • 'Plutoed' Voted Word of the Year by American Dialect Society (January 7, 2007): "'To pluto is to demote or devalue someone or something, as happened to the former planet Pluto when the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union decided Pluto no longer met its definition of a planet' (...) There were a number of law-related terms considered for this 2006 edition, including 'data Valdez', an accidental release of a large quantity of private or privileged information. Named after the 1989 oil spill by the Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound, Alaska; and 'waterboarding' (winner in the most euphemistic category): an interrogation technique in which the subject is immobilized and doused with water to simulate drowning; reported to be used by U.S. interrogators against terrorism detainees. "
  • 'Subprime' Voted American Dialect Society Word of the Year (January 5, 2008): "Yesterday, the American Dialect Society voted to choose 'subprime' as its word of the year for 2007. The word describes a risky or less than ideal loan, mortgage, or investment."


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:04 pm


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