ADS WOTY
Posted: 04 January 2013 05:43 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The nominations for the American Dialect Society Word of the Year are out. The vote is this evening.

The nominations aren’t final as more may be accepted from the floor tonight, and nominations for the main category of the WOTY will be made tonight as well,

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Posted: 04 January 2013 07:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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*waits resignedly for the whole “word of the year” fad to die down*

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Posted: 04 January 2013 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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This list,’like others of its kind, triggers several reactions from me.  First, I am struck by how unfamiliar the majority of them are (which, in turn, makes me wonder whether I am horribly out of touch, or whether many of these offerings don’t really have enough currency to belong on the list: probably a bit of both).  Second, I am struck by how many of the nominees don’t seem to fit in their current category.  Many of them, to me, seem to conflate whether the term is outrageous, unnecessary, or what have you, with whether the concepts, attitudes, or behaviors that the terms refer to are such.  Finally, ISTM that several of the terms aren’t really new to 2012 at all, while others are so 2012-ocentric that they seem to have no real chance of surviving for very long (which is fine for the words nominated “least likely to succeed”, but it isn’t just those words that seem to me to have that problem).

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Posted: 04 January 2013 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The “problem” is that there is no agreed definition of what WOTY should entail. Is a word/phrase that is new or newly prominent in the given year? Or is a word that is emblematic of the year? The same goes for the sub-categories. Is it the term that is “most outrageous” or the concept.

The bare list is also limiting as it doesn’t include the discussion. Part of the appeal of “fiscal cliff” is the anticipation of future “cliffs.”

Once you embrace the idea that this is not a serious endeavor, many of the objections fall away.

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Posted: 04 January 2013 05:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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There are, as they say in my country, not sheep stations on it.

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Posted: 04 January 2013 05:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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There are, as they say in my country, not sheep stations on it.

No idea what this might mean.

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Posted: 04 January 2013 06:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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A sheep station is, as you may know, what an American would call a sheep ranch.  “On it” here means “riding on it” or “depending on it”.  In other words, nobody has bet the ranch on it; nobody will lose or acquire one or more sheep stations (or any other valuable items) depending on which of these candidates actually becomes the WOTY (edit: or on what the criteria for WOTY should be).

Of course, it’s possible that somebody actually has bet a sheep station on it, but it seems unlikely.

[ Edited: 04 January 2013 06:13 PM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 04 January 2013 06:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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What I mean is that it is of no real consequence so there’s no point in worrying too much about it. ‘S a lahf, innit.

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Posted: 04 January 2013 06:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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#hashtag is the ADS WOTY.

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Posted: 04 January 2013 07:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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This list should have been better edited, for clarity.

e.g.

ratchet: slang term originally referring to “urban divas” now used to mean “ghetto”

A casual reader not already up on north-east United States urban slang might assume from this that a ratchet is a noun meaning “a part of a city in which members of a minority group live”.
In fact, what is meant here is that ratchet has for a few years been synonymous with “urban diva”. An urban diva is a young usu. African American woman who fits a particular ostentatious stereotype. “Ghetto”, here, is being used as an adjective. The point of this entry in the ADS WOTY list is that ratchet, in this sense, has become an adjective.

HD: abbreviation for “high-definition,” used for things that could not be high-definition

I’m not familiar with this one.

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Posted: 05 January 2013 09:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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And the winner is:  Hashtag.  It sounds like they actually mean the symbol, not the word, and that they are specifically referring to the use of a hashtag to key up a self-deprecating remark or some other sort of ironic comment at the end of a twitter or other social media posting.  So, for example, I could tack on something like this at the end of nearly any of my posts “#demonstrating my typical succinctness and firm grasp on basic linguistic principles.” I’m not arguing that it is “wrong” to pick a symbol as the word of the year, but it does seem to underscore the value of specifying some sort of criteria.  #I’m jus sayin’.

[edit: Ahem, I see they did, at least sort of, explain their criteria in an official press release, and they reference a broader use of hashtag and not just the “ironic little comment” one.  But I think the “ironic comment” use of hashtag is the one that makes it a “2012 thing”.]

http://www.americandialect.org/hashtag-2012

With regard to HD, I wonder if there was a misnegation in there: perhaps they were nominating, as most unnecessary, the use of HD with regard to a product when it is clear from the context that the product can’t NOT be HD.  As in, “I’m pleased with the new 55” LED 1080p HD TV that I just bought.” The “HD” could be said to be unnecessary, since 1080p is high definition by definition.  Not that I’m a big fan of this type of peevery, but it would at least make some sort of sense for somebody to say that such a usage is unnecessary, while referring to something that not only isn’t, but can’t be, high-definition as HD is something I can’t recall seeing anybody do, and such a usage would be more bizarre than unnecessary.

[ Edited: 05 January 2013 10:35 AM by Svinyard118 ]
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Posted: 05 January 2013 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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No the objection was to the appelation of “HD” to products for which “high definition” made no sense. The example given was “HD internet.”

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Posted: 05 January 2013 04:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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No the objection was to the appelation of “HD” to products for which “high definition” made no sense. The example given was “HD internet.”

Pardon me, Dave: where is that? I think there is part of this press release that I am not seeing.

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