Early Word of the Year Nominations for 2007

The American Dialect Society will hold its 2007 words-of-the-year vote January 4th in Chicago as part of its annual conference. It is the longest-running such vote anywhere, the only one not tied to commercial interests, and the word-of-the-year event up to which all others lead.

The words-of-the-year (WOTY) vote is a whimsical, light-hearted affair, though it is conducted by some of the country’s top linguists, grammarians, lexicographers, and other language specialists. It is not an official induction of words into the English lexicon. If there is such a thing as “Official English,” then it is decided by all English-speakers each time they choose to use or choose not to use a word or expression. Their consensus cannot be overruled by any academic body, by any self-appointed maven, nor by any nay-saying commentator.

Still, the ADS WOTY vote sheds light on trends in language change by directing attention to interesting language that was produced or popularized by important events of the past year.

Early nominations have so far been received from:

  • Wayne Glowka, chair of the American Dialect Society’s New Words committee, and editor of the “Among the New Words” column in the academic journal American Speech. Wayne is Dean of Arts and Humanities, at Reinhardt College in Waleska, Georgia. Contact Wayne at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) / 770-720-5628 (office) / 478-414-8578 (cell) / 678-493-2627 (home). See Wayne’s nominations here.
  • Grant Barrett, co-host of the language-related public radio show A Way With Words. Grant is also editor of the online Double-Tongued Dictionary and a vice president of the American Dialect Society. Contact Grant at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) / (646) 286-2260. See Grant’s nominations here.
  • David K. Barnhart of Lexik House. Contact David at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (914) 850-8484. See David’s nominations here.