from "The DISH"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jan 23 02:37:32 UTC 2002

I assume someone, if not everyone, on the list received an
unsolicited memo from something called "the DISH" at the above
address, which inter alia offers some pretentious, self-impressed
words on the WOTY vote in San Francisco, along with some incorrect
chronology (it depicts the Banned Words release from Lake Superior
State as responding to the ADS vote for "9-11", when in fact our vote
followed their release by several weeks).  Toward the end, this memo
also contains the following claim:

DISHing It Up Hot!
On Words
by Dot

On 4 January 2002, the American Dialect Society
( selected 9-11 as  word of the year.
  Before the hijacked aircraft attacks on  the World Trade Center and
Pentagon, the numbers 9-11 formed a date understood only in North America.

According to Dr. Wayne Glowka, an English professor at Georgia College and
State University and head of the Dialect Society's new words committee,
"9-11 is going to be like the 4th of July or Pearl Harbor."  Glowka credits
the media with being a primary conduit for new words.  Presumably, this is
the case for 9-11, because readers are left with the impression that media
giant CNN coined the term chosen for this year.

The DISH would like to take exception to this assumption.  A review of The
DISH archives shows that mere days after the 9-11 tragedy, "On 9-11"
appeared in DISHing It Up Hot! (The DISH Vol. 4 No 37).  Published
September 21, 2001, "On 9-11" is a DISH original.  And, until evidence to
the contrary is presented, The DISH is the most likely media source of  the
word of the year for 2001.  The DISH was not mentioned in any of the news
reports covering the 2001 word of the year selection or ensuing
This is of course nonsense.  A quick search of Nexis shows, among
others, this cite:

The Tampa Tribune
  September 13, 2001, Thursday, FINAL EDITION


  HEADLINE: Flags Express Patriotic Support



Not since Operation Desert Storm in 1991 has there been such a rush
to buy American flags, owner John Kennedy said.

  Realtor Nicole Troupe, 26, improvised after visiting a Tampa
Wal-Mart and finding the flags sold out.

  "I made it last night," she said proudly, displaying a T-shirt
decorated with a flag and the words: "In remembrance of those fallen
on 9-11, you will never be forgotten."
Notice that this appeared in print on 13 September, 8 days before The
DISH's "original".  I suppose this counts as "evidence to the
contrary", although I'm not sure why the author of the memo assumes
that "on 9-11" is the WOTY, rather than "9-11" itself, or for that
matter why the quote from Wayne is seen as implicitly giving CNN
credit for the first use of the WOTY.  In any case, I hope the above
quote from the Tampa Tribune, which is NOT the first use of "9-11" in
the relevant sense (a number of papers published on September 12 used
"9/11" or "9-11" to denote the attacks on the previous day, nor is
either Mr. Wilkens or the T-shirt manufacturer claiming credit for
inventing the term), should dispel the nonsense being dished out.


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