Early ADS WOTY nominations posted

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Wed Dec 19 20:41:54 UTC 2007

In thinking about the coming "Words of the Year" festival, ADS-ers should
ponder the fate of previous choice TRUTHINESS, which appears to be going the way
of the infamous BUSHLIPS. Here are some figures for a Google search for uses
in the past week:

truthfulness 94,800 hits
*embeded giving 27,000 hits
information superhighway 26,700 hits
+recondite 22,500 hits
semblance of truth 14,800 hits
+otiose 7,500 hits
+avuncular 5,750 hits
*tourism suicide 6,950 hits
TRUTHINESS 1,490 hits
*concierge medicine 1,470 hits
ping pong diplomacy 780 hits
bushlips 1 hit (in the Wikipedia article about ADS WOTY winners)

Items marked (*) were recently posted on ADS-L and at least one sophisticated
ADS-er responded that he did not know what they meant.

Items marked (+) are classic rare words.

"Information highway" is an ADS WOTY winner from past years and seems clearly
to have made it as a real "word" in current American English (though
considering the pervasiveness of the internet, I suspect that this little metaphor is
also on the way out).

Is "ping pong diplomacy" (back-and-forth negotiations--especially with N
Korea?) new? It is new to me, anyway, and my instinct tells me that it is a

TRUTHINESS (only twice as used as piong-pong-diplomacy and far less used than
the recondite words), on the other hand, is merely a stunt word--eminating
from one minor entertainment person--that is clearly passing from the scene. It
might have been a good candidate for "most unnecessary" word, given that
"semblance of truth" does pretty much the same lexical work (as evidenced by the
fact that it is used so frequently--compare the c15,000 hits for "semblance of
truth"with the c100,000 hits for "truthfulness." But word of the year? Please.

Of course, WOTY (whatever it is!) is not a mere predictor of success. But
selecting what are obviously stuntwords with little chance of adding to the
genuine vocabulary of American English makes the whole contest look like pretty
much just a giant publicity stunt, put together for their own amusement by a
coterie of academics seeking one moment a year of fame.

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