[Ads-l] 2020 Word of the Year is "Covid"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 18 05:53:14 UTC 2020


In a selection that was held virtually for the first time ever, "Covid" was
chosen as Word of the Year (2020) by the American Dialect Society in its
annual vote. It was the 30th anniversary of the society's original Word of
the Year vote in December 1990. While the selection is typically held in
person at the society's annual meeting, this time the event was conducted
as a webinar open to all who were interested in attending via Zoom. More
than three hundred attendees took part in the deliberations and voting.

Presiding at the Dec. 17 voting session was Ben Zimmer, chair of the ADS
New Words Committee and language columnist for the Wall Street Journal.

"A year ago, the word 'Covid' didn't even exist, and now it has come to
define our lives in 2020," Zimmer said. "The selection recognizes how
ubiquitous the term has become, from the time that the name for the disease
caused by novel coronavirus was dubbed 'Covid-19' by the World Health
Organization back in February. That was quickly clipped to 'Covid,' which
then appeared in phrases like 'Covid crisis,' 'Covid relief,' and 'Covid
vaccine' -- and even 'Covid baking,' 'Covid hair,' and 'covidiot.' It has
become a stand-in for the entire pandemic and the societal impacts that
we'll be experiencing for years to come."

The full press release, including all winners, candidates, and vote tallies
for all candidates, is here:

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

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