The American Dialect Society's annual "Word of the Year" selection is rapidly approaching. We've already had some WOTY announcements from dictionaries and other organizations (see here, here, and here for coverage), but the ADS event is the granddaddy of them all. Geoff Nunberg recently referred to the ADS selection of WOTY as "the linguistic Oscars," with all the others "merely the Golden Globes and People's Choice awards of lexicography."
The ADS selection process is not open to the public in the way that Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com have run their online voting this year (both of which simply proved that fans of Stephen Colbert and truthiness will swamp any such competition). However, nominations are being accepted from the public. The announcement reads:
Your nominations are also welcome. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, the word of the Year is interpreted in its broader sense as a "vocabulary item" — not just single words but phrases can be nominated, too. Nominated terms do not have to be brand new, but they should be newly prominent or notable in the past year, usually by being a part of widespread discussion or importance.
The announcement also links to nomination lists from Wayne Glowka and Grant Barrett. Grant's list has some overlap with his Glossary for 2006, appearing in today's New York Times "Week in Review" section. (For more WOTY-ish discussion, check out the latest Open Source public radio show, featuring Grant Barrett, Geoff Nunberg, and New Oxford American Dictionary editor-in-chief Erin McKean.)Posted by Benjamin Zimmer at December 24, 2006 10:24 PM