Thursday, February 03, 2011

WOTY - ADS nom(inates) 'app'

Remember how I posted a piece in January on the 'word of the year'? Well, the American Dialect Society’s latest get-together in Pittburgh has chosen this year’s winner.
Nominated by Bill Krezschmar, a University of Georgia professor, ‘app’ sneaked it over thirty-two other possible choices. And it took a hundred and fifty linguists two days of debate to get there.
Why did they choose ‘app’ over the rest. Because, as reported by Sean D. Hamill of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, according to Bill, even his octogenarian grandmother ‘uses the word, and she doesn’t even know how to text’. Of course, it wasn’t just Bill’s grandma. It was also because everybody’s making them nowadays and, according to ADS members, that makes it ‘the most democratic word’.
Anyway, you might prefer ‘app’ over Merriam-Webster’s choice – ‘austerity’ – or the Oxford American Dictionary’s – ‘refudiate’. Ahh Sarah Palin will never live it down.
What effect will this have on the word? Well, Christine Lindberg, the senior lexicographer at the Oxford University Press, says that the award meant that, instead of the mere ‘short for application’, a much fuller definition was now deemed necessary.
Incidentally, ‘nom’, which was defined as an ‘onomatopoetic form connoting eating, esp. pleasurably’, was voted second! Now where’s that cookie? Nomnomnomnom…

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