FW: Words of the Year announcement

Frank Abate abatefr at EARTHLINK.NET
Wed Jan 8 13:08:46 UTC 2003

Ron et al.

Another solution to the problem would be for the ADS WOTY chair to simply
act and speak normally and let the broadcast folks edit out what they don't
like.  I assume the TV people were recording it, right?  They edit all that
stuff anyway, so you can really say whatever you want, and they will
bowdlerize it later as they see fit.

Frank Abate

In a message dated 1/6/03 11:30:43 AM, AAllan at AOL.COM writes:

> One candidate was proposed for the special category of Most Inspirational:
> President Bush's coinage "embetterment," as in "the embetterment of
> mankind."
> By a vote of 45 to 12, the society decided against this category and
> candidate. A category of Bushisms was suggested for future years.

I object to this reporting of the minutes of the meeting.

In fact, GRID BUTT (a.k.a. BUTT GRID) was also nominated (from the floor) as
a candidate for Most Inspirational word of the year. Anyone who has ever sat
naked on a lawn chair for any length of time will surely recognize the
spiritual importance of having a term for the resultant distressing

However, the dictitorial chair of the meeting refused even to allow a vote
this nomination, thus violating our rights according to our established
procedures. Given that the Most Inspirational category is also one that is
closely allied to religious beliefs, our rights to free exercise of relgion
may have been violated as well. At any rate, the most important purpose of
meetings of the American Dialect Society--the free interchange of scholarly
thinking about language--was thereby put in jeapordy by the black tide of
dictatorship. We will never know what the scholarly conclusion would have
been with respect to the Most Inspirational nature of GRID BUTT (not to

It seems clear that the chair was swayed by the fact that our session this
year was being recorded for national television. He just did not want to
the chance of appearing on CBS News saying, "All in favor of GRID BUTT say
'Aye'!" In this craven action I say he acted like a Neuticle-driven,
comprendo-challenged scholarly angstrel. He has turned our sacred
deliberations into one big like-no-other Botox party and limp sausagefest.

I do not wish to turn our beloved Secretary into a walking pinyata; I do not
mean to suggest that we need a metcalfameter to monitor his future actions.
am not asking for Regime Change. Rather, I am fully willing to forgive him
for his outrageous virtuecratrism, even though, for the sake of a few
of glory on televison, he has robbed us of our intellectual V-card. I would
like to propose, however, that he promise that, in the future, we MUST ban
the press from our deliberations.

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