[Ads-l] "#blacklivesmatter"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 19 15:46:33 UTC 2015

> Yes, it means that...

The equivocation on "means" feels very much like disingenuous special

And the writer appears to elide the fact that the hashtag received a
separate, certainly deserved, award *as a hashtag*.

None of this matters, of course, except that because it so obviously flouts
any linguistic sense of "word" in English or any other natural language,
and that because "#blacklivesmatter" was honored - as was appropriate - in
a special category, I find the WOTY choice to be both patronizing and

But nobody's perfect.

(PS:  The other day I heard "hashtag" used to mean "very": "This is hashtag


On Mon, Jan 19, 2015 at 10:30 AM, David Daniel <david at coarsecourses.com>

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       David Daniel <david at COARSECOURSES.COM>
> Subject:      "#blacklivesmatter"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> If this has already made the rounds here and I missed seeing it, then
> sorry.
> It would seem to be the official wordification of the ADS WOTY.
> "But anything can take a hashtag, and dictionary-makers aren't going to
> include "#dictionary" next to "dictionary", "#lexicography" next to
> "lexicography", and so on. Something has to change in the real world for
> "hashtagification" to lead to word-hood. Does "#blacklivesmatter" mean more
> than "black lives matter"? Yes: it means that a huge number of people have
> woken up to the callous treatment by American police (and other security
> forces) of many of their black fellow-citizens."
> -#BlackLivesMatter, The Economist, January 15, 2015
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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