another photo "action" (UNCLASSIFIED)

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Aug 27 21:34:22 UTC 2012

On Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 10:45 AM, Mullins, Bill AMRDEC wrote:
> > "Among the New Words," American Speech, Winter 2011, pp. 454-479
> > Benjamin Zimmer and Charles E. Carson
> >
> > special "Internet meme" edition:
> > Advice Animal, auto-tune, banhammer, bubbling, cinemagraph, copypasta,
> > creepypasta, (herp) derp, double rainbow, Droste effect, escalator
> > spinning, exploitable, facebomb, facepalm, headdesk, honey badger,
> > hover hand, image macro, lulz, O RLY, photobomb, rickroll, supercut, Swede,
> > Teabonics, tl;dr.
> Since this particular list has a theme, is the "new" part not so strict?
> I was at a conference in 2004 that had a presentation on the "Droste
> Effect".  "Swede" goes back to the 2008 film "Be Kind Rewind" (assuming
> it has the same meaning; I can't read the article).
> I don't think of myself as particularly hip to internet memes and
> jargon, but even I'm aware that "Rickroll", "O RLY" and "tl;dr" are all
> at least a few years old.

We would have a difficult time indeed compiling ATNW if "new" always
meant "brand-spanking new." For these thematic installments, a few
years of usage are generally necessary to determine whether an item is
worth documenting in the first place. (Our WOTY nominee roundups may
include newer coinages, but of course what appears to be "new" in a
particular year may have a significant backstory.) When the theme is
Internet memes or musical genres or what have you, I'm happy to
include anything noteworthy that is of 21st-century vintage and has
not yet entered the major dictionaries.


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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