December 31, 2004

booger blogger anaphora

ABC News has named bloggers as "People of the Year", for "providing unique insight into people's thoughts." The ABC article starts this way:

A blog — short for "web log" — is an online personal journal that covers topics ranging from daily life to technology to culture to the arts. Blogs have made such an impact this year that Merriam-Webster named it the word of the year.

By "it" ABC of course means "the word blog". This is a good example of a pronoun referring to an entity that is evoked but not named, a phenomenon that has recently come to be known as booger anaphora.

And by the way, Merriam-Webster's choice was not based on someone's subjective evaluation of lexical impact, but rather on a simple count of word lookups on their free internet site.

Posted by Mark Liberman at December 31, 2004 11:41 AM