Trend Results : Dialect Society

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Sperm Whale Clans Speak Different Dialects

3 months agoTechnology / Gadgets : Gizmodo

We humans pride ourselves on our cultural diversity, but we’re not the only creatures that form unique societies. Turns out, two clans of sperm whales living near the Galápagos Islands speak different dialects — offering yet more evidence that animals have culture, too. Read more...

Why We Should Declare an Emoticon of the Year

You've heard about the words of the year—Oxford's vape, Merriam-Webster's culture, and's exposure, to name a few. And perhaps you're even eagerly awaiting the American Dialect Society's own WOTY vote, which will take place this coming weekend (I'll be live-tweeting from it!). Show More Summary

Is a Hashtag a Word? The Case of #BlackLivesMatter.

Well, I didn't manage to get an emoticon of the year vote added to the American Dialect Society's annual Word of the Year award (there’s always next year!), but we did end up with a new category that's almost as interesting: Most Notable...Show More Summary

'Salty' Was One Of 2014's Best Words

And that's not according to me, that's according to the American Dialect Society, who earlier this month held their 25th Word of the Year awards. Read more...


10 months agoArts : Prospero

EVERY year several dictionary publishers and the American Dialect Society announce their picks for Word of the Year. It's a tricky exercise. Not every year throws up a new and obvious zeitgeist-capturing word. 2014 was no exception, so the different juries chose different compromises. Show More Summary

Language Nerds Have Different Ideas About 2014’s Word of the Year

Photo by Flickr user All-Nite Images. #BlackLivesMatter was a protest chant, a movement, a Twitter hashtag and now it’s one of 2014’s biggest words of the year, according to the experts over at the American Dialect Society. A group of...Show More Summary

The Word of the Year is a hashtag: #blacklivesmatter

At the American Dialect Society annual conference (held in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America in Portland, OR), the 2014 Word of the Year was a rather unusual choice: the hashtag #blacklivesmatter. I presided over the voting session (in my capacity as the society's Chair of the New Words Committee). You can read the […]

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

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

2 years 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

2 years 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 […]


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

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