Tom Kysilko pds at VISI.COM
Sun Dec 19 19:22:01 UTC 1999

Since I will not be at the Chicago meetings, I will nominate my words here.

WOTY:  If words debated in previous years are not excluded, I would
re-nominate "Y2K".  It achieved omnipresence in 1999 and became a mantra in
the federal government.

        If "Y2K" is excluded, then, since the door has been opened to lexical
items, how about "i-" ?

WOTD:  More lexical items.  I nominate "?" and "*", the orthographic wild
cards, as in "WOT?" or "Word of the *".  These were around in the 1980's
and perhaps earlier, but jumped from a strict computer command line context
into general usage in the 1990's.  If I have to choose one, I pick "?",
since "*" will probably never supplant "..." in everyday usage.  A cool
feature of "?" is that it has no spoken equivalent (unlike "star" and "dot,
dot, dot").  We're not likely to be hearing "W-O-T-the symbol formerly
known as a question mark".  Choosing "?" as WOTD would highlight the
increasing importance (in my opinion) of written communication in the

Come to think of it, has "The * formerly known as *" ever been nominated
for WOT? ?

WOTC:  "Cool".  While there have been figurative uses as long as it has
been a word, there has been an explosion of new uses in this century.
What's new is that many of these uses have been inherently positive, that
is, not merely indicating an absence of (literal or figurative) heat or
warmth.  Moreover, while these uses are understood wherever English is
spoken, they have managed, as noted in both DAS and RHHDAS and previously
on this list, to remain slang for decades.

WOTM:  I leave this to my betters.

  Tom Kysilko        Practical Data Services
  pds at visi.com       Saint Paul MN USA

More information about the Ads-l mailing list