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Trend Results : American Dialect Society

Blog Post Results (1-20 of 118)


Because and effect

Q: I was on the Web a while ago and saw that the American Dialect Society chose “because” as its 2013 Word of the Year (not ‘selfie’ like some others). This is “because,” as in. “I’m so happy today because in love.” Yeccccch! Does this seem likely to transfer into standard English? A: Traditionally, “because”... ? Read More: Because and effect

PangramTweets, A Collection of Tweets That Use Every Letter of the Alphabet

6 months agoOdd : Laughing Squid

PangramTweets is a Twitter account created by American Dialect Society president Jesse Sheidlower that utilizes a bot to locate and automatically retweet tweets that use every letter of the alphabet. You may find the results interesting, or dull. I make no judgment on this. The bot is entirely automated; I do not curate the results. [...]

Johnson: Time to grow up

9 months agoArts : Prospero

CAN a newspaper cuss? Jesse Sheidlower has written in the New York Times calling for an end to that newspaper’s total refusal to print swear words. This is a tiny bit ironic: Mr Sheidlower, the head of the American Dialect Society, several years ago produced an excellent little reference volume on the word fuck, but it is coyly titled “The F-Word”. Show More Summary

NY Times Op-Ed Says Journalists Should Stop Being So Fcking Uptight About Profanity

9 months agoNews : Mediaite

Jesse Sheidlower, a lexicographer and president of the American Dialect Society, is getting pretty fcking tired of journalists reporting on public officials' profanities by dancing around the actual words instead of just coming out and saying them.

"Because" with non-verbal complement

The American Dialect Society's recognition of because as Word of the Year has sparked a number of intriguing linguistic arguments. In its innovative use, because can take a number of different parts of speech as its complement: nouns, adjectives, interjections, and even adverbs. (See Tyler Schnoebelen's Idibon post for some corpus analysis.) While Geoff Pullum […]

Context, context, context

Yesterday on the American Dialect Society listserv, JSB wrote: In his news conference on the GWB (that is, Bridge) scandal, Gov. Christe used the word "I" or first person singular pronouns 273 times [Slate]. After some "teasing" about it, in his State of the Union message yesterday he used "we" or "we've" 97 times [NYTimes, […]

“Ultimately just plain nice”

Last week, I followed up the news that “because” may now be used as a preposition by noting that the American Dialect Society had named it their Word of the Year. Now, in The New Republic, John McWhorter argues that the new preposition is used to signal empathy and warmth. (Related: Fiona Maazel on the dangers […]


11 months agoLinguistics / Grammar : Mr. Verb

As I feared, I didn't make it to the Word of the Year at the American Dialect Society yesterday. Here's the ADS press release. I'll ask around today for insights into the discussions, but am mostly relieved for the moment that twerk and selfie didn't win.


The American Dialect Society choose because as its Word Of The Year, and thereby provoked an argument, here and elsewhere, about parts of speech. Most dictionaries and grammars see words like for, in, since, etc. as variously prepositions, adverbs, conjunctions, or particles, depending on how they're used. Geoff Pullum argues that they're all always prepositions, […]

Dialect group's word of the year: Because. Because oh brother.

The American Dialect Society has named " because " its word of the year for 2013. What makes because special is its evolving usage. Where once "because" needed to be followed by "of" or a full clause, now it can be followed by a noun or other fragment.

Because: 2013's Word Of The Year

The American Dialect Society has no qualms with celebrating the fun in words, and that?s why this list of nominations and winners is so great. It may appear that such a pretentious sounding foundation would be austere in its voting, but they included ?thigh gap? and then made sure to include ?box gap? as a synonymous version of the phrase. Click To Continue Reading

The Word of the Year is Because Because

12 months agoPop Culture / Celebrity : Jezebel

The American Dialect Society has voted "because" the Word of the Year for 2013, because "because is now being used in new ways to introduce a noun, adjective, or other part of speech." No matter how annoying you think it is, because is definitely very hot right now. Read more...

Exciting linguistic developments of 2013

12 months agoOdd : Boing Boing

The American Dialect Society's 2013 Words of the Year (PDF) (voted on earlier this week -- "because" won, because Internet) had some fascinating entries.

Book News: A Library Burned, Digital Prophecy

A library in the Lebanese city of Tripoli has been burned down after rumors spread that one of its books contained a pamphlet insulting the Prophet Muhammad. The American Dialect Society has chosen “because” as its word of the year.Show More Summary

Because Useful

You may have heard that “because” is a preposition now, because Internet. What you may not have heard is that the American Dialect Society named “because” their Word of the Year. Their reasoning? The word’s new meaning allows us to omit full clauses, which makes it useful. (Hilariously, they also named Sharknado the “most unnecessary” […]

Because Language

12 months agoLGBT / Gay : Joe. My. God.

Via the New York Times: After a year dominated by upstart words like “selfie,” “bitcoin” and “twerk,” the American Dialect Society’s Word of the Year for 2013 seems slightly banal: “because.” Ben Zimmer, chairman of the dialect society’s...Show More Summary

Because syntax

Many people will be somewhat surprised that the American Dialect Society's "Word of the Year" choice was because in its use with a noun phrase (NP) complement. It seems to be unprecedented for a word in a minor category like preposition to be chosen rather than some emergent or fashionable word in one of the […]

Jargon of the Underworld

Doing a little background research for my book yesterday, I stumbled across an issue of Dialect Notes from 1927, a publication of the American Dialect Society. In an article entitled “Dialect of the Underworld,” I discovered all sorts of fun stuff. Some examples (and you can explore for yourself here): “fall togs. n. Good clothes [...]

The First Time I Saw A Hashtag

2 years agoTechnology : Message

Benjamin Zimmer  and Charles Carson of the American Dialect Society  have released Among The New Words (American Speech, Vol. 88, No. 1, Pring 2013), and which lays down the lineaments of the invention and naming of the now mainstream...Show More Summary

French Word Police Ruke Against 'Hashtag'

2 years agoTechnology : Message

I am feeling a bit proprietary about ‘hashtag’ these days, since Ben Zimmer of the American Dialect Society has researched the word and determined that I was the first to use it, back in 2007. As a result, I was shocked, shocked to learn...Show More Summary

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