Saturday, January 09, 2010

Tweet Voted American Dialect Society Word of 2009

Yesterday, the American Dialect Society declared 'tweet' to be the word of the year for 2009. 'Google' was voted word of the decade:
" 'Both words are, in the end, products of the Information Age, where every person has the ability to satisfy curiosity and to broadcast to a select following, both via the Internet', Barrett said [Grant Barrett, chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society]. 'I really thought blog would take the honors in the word of the decade category, but more people google than blog, don’t they? Plus, many people think 'blog' just sounds ugly. Maybe Google’s trademark lawyers would have preferred it, anyway'."

"Word of the Year is interpreted in its broader sense as 'vocabulary item'—not just words but phrases. The words or phrases do not have to be brand-new, but they have to be newly prominent or notable in the past year, in the manner of Time magazine’s Person of the Year."
Runner-up words or expressions related to law include "war on terror", and "death panel".

This is the 20th 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.

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."
  • 'Bailout' Declared Word of the Year in 2008 - No Legal Expressions Make the List (January 12, 2009)


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:11 pm


Blogger Laurel Kornfeld said...

Pluto is NOT a "former planet." It is a planet. Only four percent of the IAU voted on the controversial demotion, and most are not planetary scientists. Their decision was immediately opposed by hundreds of professional astronomers led by New Horizons Principal Investigator Dr. Alan Stern. This debate is far from over. The term "plutoed" will very likely have a different meaning by the end of the next decade--something or someone unfairly demoted and subsequently reinstated.

1:16 am  

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