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The “Super Bowl” of Linguistics? 
Posted: 17 January 2015 02:55 PM   [ Ignore ]
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http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/18/style/at-the-super-bowl-of-linguistics-may-the-best-word-win.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

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Posted: 17 January 2015 04:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Very entertaining article! Thank you, cuchuflete. Good to see Allan Metcalf was there, I guess he must be the doyen of linguistics now after his historic research on OK. I think they’re right not to admit emoticons among the entrants, when it comes down to it they just ain’t words. (BTW what on earth are emoji?) Hashtags are certainly words although I take Fred Shapiro’s point, So I guess there is no real distinction between ‘word of the year’ and ‘quotation of the year’?.

All in all it seems a good time was had by all. Have you ever attended one, Dave?

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Posted: 18 January 2015 07:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I hate to be Mr. Picky Pedant, but it’s not the “Super Bowl” of linguistics, it’s the “Super Bowl” of lexicography.  Most linguists work on things that have nothing to do with any words of the year and could care less about the “contest.”

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Posted: 18 January 2015 07:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Emoji.

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Posted: 18 January 2015 08:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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languagehat - 18 January 2015 07:06 AM

I hate to be Mr. Picky Pedant, but it’s not the “Super Bowl” of linguistics, it’s the “Super Bowl” of lexicography.  Most linguists work on things that have nothing to do with any words of the year and could care less about the “contest.”

It’s not pedantic at all to quibble with a bad headline.  The author of the article, if not the headline writer, seems to understand the difference:

“...what is perhaps the year’s most anticipated lexicological event: the annual selection of the Word of the Year (also known as WOTY) by the American Dialect Society.”

I take issue with the Super Bowl handle.  It seems more like the Fiesta Bowl.

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Posted: 18 January 2015 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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There are all sorts of problems with the “bowl” analogy. But for a newspaper headline and lede it isn’t terrible.

Also note, that virtually none of the participants take the process seriously. It’s a diverting exercise undertaken for fun and public relations. The results have little or no bearing on anything linguists or lexicographers actually do.

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Posted: 18 January 2015 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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languagehat - 18 January 2015 07:06 AM

I hate to be Mr. Picky Pedant, but it’s not the “Super Bowl” of linguistics, it’s the “Super Bowl” of lexicography.  Most linguists work on things that have nothing to do with any words of the year and could care less about the “contest.”

I’m assuming you meant could not care less?

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Posted: 18 January 2015 01:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Logophile - 18 January 2015 11:13 AM

languagehat - 18 January 2015 07:06 AM
I hate to be Mr. Picky Pedant, but it’s not the “Super Bowl” of linguistics, it’s the “Super Bowl” of lexicography.  Most linguists work on things that have nothing to do with any words of the year and could care less about the “contest.”

I’m assuming you meant could not care less?

I’m sure lh meant exactly what he said. Is it really possible that you are unaware of the variant phrase, which has precisely the same sense?

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Posted: 19 January 2015 06:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Yes, I enjoy using the slangier version, partly because it sets off the peevers and I like to hear their alarms beeping gently in the distance.

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Posted: 19 January 2015 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Yes, I enjoy using the slangier version, partly because it sets off the peevers and I like to hear their alarms beeping gently in the distance.

One of the immeasurable benefits of having attended this forum for several years, is having been (more or less) cured (or should I say purged?) of the language-peeves. For that, thank you, and bless you all: Dave, languagehat, aldi, and all the other enlightened souls here assembled in the name of the Word.

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Posted: 19 January 2015 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I’ve still got my peeves. I’ve just learned to keep my mouth shut.

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Posted: 19 January 2015 01:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Smmf hrmmf.

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Posted: 19 January 2015 04:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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It’s a rough job keeping peeves as pets.  You have to keep them on a very short leash.  They will try to do all sorts of nasty things to you if you let them.  They’ve been known to urge their humans to do such things as poke needles in their ears and rip other people’s tongues out.  You can not let them do it.  Above all, if you find that one of your peeves has been lying to you you must put it down.

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Posted: 19 January 2015 08:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I’m sure lh meant exactly what he said. Is it really possible that you are unaware of the variant phrase, which has precisely the same sense?

Yes, certainly I’m quite well aware of the variant phrase and its accepted usage. I was also aware that Languagehat used the more idiomatic expression as a tease, and for this reason I questioned in jest, but not as a peever. Obviously a failed attempt at subtle humour. 
Regardless, I don’t agree that the variant phrase always has “precisely” the same sense. 

The Free Dictionary

(I) could(n’t) care less.
Inf. It doesn’t matter to me. (The less bears the heaviest stress in both versions. Despite the apparent contradiction, either reading of this—both the affirmative and negative—usually have the same meaning. The exception would be in a sentence where the could bears the heaviest stress: I COULD care less, [but I don’t.].) Tom: The rain is coming! The carpet will get wet! Mary: I couldn’t care less. Bill: I’m going to go in there and tell off the boss? John: I could care less.
See also: care, could, less
could(n’t) care less
[one is] unable to care at all; it does not matter at all. John couldn’t care less whether he goes to the party or not. I could care less if I live or die.

http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-ico1.htm

Regarding those two expressions I don’t see any confusion in the context of their customary usage. I do, however, see a potential confusion with words such as, peruse, bemuse and nonplus/nonplussed. The variant meanings for these words are antonymous and that is where the confusion might lie.  If I say: I’m bemused by your statement. It can have two meanings: amused or perplexed.
I prefer, I couldn’t care less, not because it’s the correct usage, but because I’d rather be more precise to avoid any ambiguity.

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Posted: 19 January 2015 11:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I can’t see the article, because it’s behind a paywall. I shall remain as ignorant of this superbowl as I am of other superb owls.

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Posted: 20 January 2015 01:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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BTW what would you call expressions of this type, “the X of Y”? Some class of metaphor, I suppose.

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