Thoughts on genre, language, grammar, and other
rhetorical and linguistic norms
rhetorical and linguistic norms
Lots of tempting topics this week, with the Golden Globes and use of "Time's Up" and a variety of insults being thrown around. It's also syllabus time again, so I thought of repeating some of my popular syllabus entries. You can find those syllabus posts here.
But I'm a language nerd, so the winner for me this week is the announcement January 5 of the American Dialect Society's Word of the Year.
American Dialect Society Word of the Year
News almost as big as the Golden Globes was the annual announcement of the Word of the Year, voted on by the members of the American Dialect Society (ADS) in attendance at the annual conference. Last year, I pointed out multiple organizations that choose a word of the year. The winner this year in the ADS vote was no big surprise:
Yes, that's a phrase not a single word, but the ADS rules allow that.
The choice of "fake news" is not too surprising. There's a longer list, though, of all the words nominated for WOTY and nominees in other categories. Here are my favorites this year:
Political word of the year: "take a knee"
Hashtag of the year: #MeToo
Euphemism of the year: "alternative facts"
That one seems like old news to me, but I wrote about Conway's use of the term a while ago.
I had to read the definitions of a few of the winners.
Digital word of the year:
* shitpost: Posting of worthless or irrelevant online content intended to derail a conversation or to provoke others
That one might have gotten my vote for most Useful word of the year, too, but the winner of that category was:
* die by suicide: A variant of “to commit suicide” that does not suggest a criminal act.
Most Creative word of the year:
* broflake: Man or boy who lacks resilience or coping skills in the face of disagreements or setbacks
Broflake is funny, but I'm not a fan of the politics behind the word it's based on, "snowflake," so I might have cast my vote for "caucacity" whose meaning I thought was pretty transparent, and the word was funny and timely and useful
The funniest one to me is one based on pronunciation, which makes it even better for us language nerds. It's also one I'd never heard of (which probably says something about me). The winner of Slang/Informal Word of the Year:
* wypipo: Humorous phonetic spelling of “white people” used to flag white privilege, cluelessness, or absurdity.
If you go to the ADS press release, you'll find lots of interesting new words to explore and even to start using, including persister and persisterhood, get the zucc, askhole, procrastination nanny, caucacity, and milkshake duck
Ain't language fun!!
Happy new year, you unicorns! (look it up ;)
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