Early ADS WOTY nominations posted

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Dec 19 21:35:28 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

I'll pass by the general query Ron raises here (and the
truthiness-bashing).  But as noted, "suicide tourism" gets 460,000
hits, almost 7 times as many as "tourism suicide", with the same
meaning (contra my first unsophisticated suggestion yesterday).  Is
there any reason to insist on the collocation less travelled?


>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.
>See AOL's top rated recipes
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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