Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Wed Jan 23 18:05:11 UTC 2002

> ======
> DISHing It Up Hot!
> On Words
> by Dot
> On 4 January 2002, the American Dialect Society
> (http://www.americandialect.org/) 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.

Ignoring the bits about 'the Dish' (whatever), I'd take some issue with
Wayne Glowka's claim about the universality of 9-11.  In spite of the close
US/UK ties since then, I've not heard anyone here call it 9-11, it's always
"11th of September" or "September 11th".  When I was in the US over cmas, I
was struck by how uninformly it's called '9-11' there, when we don't hear
it at all over here.

An example:  A student yesterday was giving a presentation on Koko the
gorilla.  Koko apparently has made a statement on how she feels about the
events.  Anyhow, the student clearly had no idea what the site was
referring to.  She said something like "Patterson asked Koko about
something called 9-11 or something, where some people died or something." I
had to point out that that meant September 11th in "American"...


Dr M Lynne Murphy
Lecturer in Linguistics
Acting Director, MA in Applied Linguistics
School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH

phone +44-(0)1273-678844
fax   +44-(0)1273-671320

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