woty 08 abroad

Dennis Baron debaron at ILLINOIS.EDU
Thu Nov 20 01:43:33 UTC 2008

Taiwan newspaper starts search for Word of the Year for 2008
Posted on : 2008-11-15 | Author : DPA
News Category : Asia

Taipei - A Taiwan newspaper on Saturday launched a search for the Word
of the Year for 2008, offering 48 Chinese characters for the public to
choose from. The search was launched by the United Daily News and a
private foundation in the hope that one Chinese character could
summarize the situation of Taiwan in 2008 or reflect Taiwan's people's
feelings about the year.

The newspaper opened a telephone hotline for the public to call in to
vote for their choice for Word of the Year, and the Chinese character
that gets the most votes would become the Word of the Year.

To encourage the public to take participate, the News and the
foundation are offering rewards that include a car priced at 500,000
Taiwan dollars (15,000 US dollars).

Several countries conduct selections for the Word of the Year with the
Society of the German Language starting the process in Germany in 1971
and the American Dialect Society launching a search in the United
States in 1991.

But the most publicized selection takes place in Japan.

On December 12 every year and watched by a crowd of tourists and
media, a priest at the Kiyomitzudera Buddhist temple in Kyoto waves a
large brush to write the Word of the Year on white cardboard in black

The Word of Year for 2007 in Japan was fake, reflecting Japanese
people's anger at scandals involving food companies that used poor-
quality ingredients to make food or sold outdated food products.


Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English
University of Illinois
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321


read the Web of Language:

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

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