Jennifer D. Wade Journal

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Blog posts December 2010

A co-worker who reads this blog reminded me the other day that it's time for an update. I know, I know, I said. But, there just hasn't been much worth blogging about. Until now.

You see, now it's December. And you know what that means. It means that in just a few short weeks, the American Dialect Society will choose the 2010 Word of the Year.

Last year, by which I mean 2009, was special. Not only did they select a WOTY ("tweet"), but since it was the end of the decade, they also chose a Word of the Decade ("google," which is so good that it can be used as a noun or a verb).

Anyway, the upcoming meeting is set for January 6-8 in Pittsburgh. You can read the agenda HERE. There are all sorts of presentations that sound somewhat interesting. But, the real action takes place on Thursday evening when nominees for the various categories are chosen and then on Friday when the members pick the winning words. This year, there is also a companion vote for Name of the Year, so that should make things extra exciting.

In the past, I have speculated on what the WOTY might be. However valid those suggestions were, I have yet to be right. In fact, I have yet to come even close to guessing the Word of the Year. But, persistence pays off, so I'll give it another go.

If the WOTY were central to NEPA, I'd say it should be "frac" or "fracking," to represent the explosion in Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling activity in the area - and the explosion of the problems that have come with it. But, the word is much more likely to come from the realm of politics or technology, so let me think a bit.


Well, I think a case could be made for Sarah Palin's "refudiate." There might be some specific category for it but, since it's not really a word, I don't think it qualifies for Word of the Year.

What else? How about "app" or "smart phone?" "E-reader?" "Kindle?" Something to do with the BP oil spill in the Gulf? Maybe "hybrid?" It's not a new word, but those types of vehicles are suddenly in fashion. Maybe there's some kind of word or term for the lingering recession that will win the day.

Basically, I've got nothing. But, I'm sure the American Dialect Society will come up with something, and I can't wait to find out what it is.

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