The American Dialect Society Word of the Year

Tomorrow I’ll post the January roundup of the Literary Ashland Non-word of the Day. But first, for those of you that missed them, the American Dialect Society Word(s) of the Year for 2011.

The American Dialect Society meets with the Linguistic Society of America each year and this year it was in Portland, for the first time in 40 years. The open vote on January 6, stewarded by Allan Metcalf of MacMurray College, drew about 300 people.

The word of the year: occupy defined as “verb, noun, and combining form referring to

    the Occupy protest movement. The runners up were:

    FOMO – acronym for “Fear of Missing Out,” describing anxiety over being inundated by information on social media.

    the 99%, 99 percenters – those held to be at a financial or political disadvantage to the top moneymakers, the one-percenters.

    humblebrag – expression of false humility, especially by celebrities on Twitter.

    job creator – a member of the top one-percent of moneymakers.

Humblebrag was voted most useful, and job creator most euphemistic.

The American Name Society also comeets with the LSA and its Name of the Year voted was Arab Spring. The onomasts also choose winners for four separate categories.

    Siri was Trade Name of the Year.

    Fukushima was Place Name of the Year.

    Qaddafi, Kathafi, Khadhafy, etc. was Personal Name of the Year.

    Lisbeth Salander was Fictional Name of the Year.

About Ed Battistella

Edwin Battistella’s latest book Sorry About That: The Language of Public Apology was released by Oxford University Press in June of 2014.
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