Word of the Decade Nominations Open for 2000-2009

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Jan 16 18:11:44 UTC 2009

On Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 11:26 AM, Grant Barrett
<gbarrett at worldnewyork.org> wrote:
> At the American Dialect Society annual meeting in Baltimore next
> January, not only will the Society choose Words of the Year just past,
> but members and friends will also have the solemn responsibility of
> choosing a Word of the Decade 2000–2009.
> http://www.americandialect.org/woty2009/

Since the overall WOTY winners didn't necessarily have much staying
power (I'm lookin' at you, "plutoed"), I'd suggest we take a look back
at what won the "most useful" and "most likely to succeed" categories
in each year. From this vantage point, it looks like 2002's "google"
and "blog" are obvious frontrunners.

most useful: civil union
most likely to succeed: muggle

most useful: facial profiling / second-hand speech
most likely to succeed: 9-11 (same as WOTY)

most useful: google, v.
most likely to succeed: blog

most useful: flexitarian
most likely to succeed: SARS

most useful: phish, v.
most likely to succeed: red/blue/purple states (same as WOTY)

most useful: podcast
most likely to succeed: sudoku

most useful: climate canary
most likely to succeed: YouTube, v.

most useful: green- (prefix/combining form)
most likely to succeed: green- (prefix/combining form)

most useful: Barack Obama (combining form)
most likely to succeed: shovel-ready

--Ben Zimmer

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

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