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2009 Word of the Year is “tweet”; Word of the Decade is “google”

Posted by TeamITI on January 11, 2010

[tweetmeme source="itimarketing"]

In its 20th annual words of the year vote, the American Dialect Society voted “tweet” (noun, a short message sent via the Twitter.com service, and verb, the act of sending such a message) as the word of the year and “google” (a generic form of “Google”, meaning “to search the Internet”) as its word of the decade.

Presiding at the Jan. 8 voting session in Baltimore were ADS Executive Secretary Allan Metcalf of MacMurray College, and Grant Barrett, chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society editorial director of online dictionary Wordnik.com. Barrett is also the editor of the column “Among the New Words”  in the society’s quarterly academic journal American Speech.

Word of the Year is interpreted in its broader sense as “vocabulary item” —not just words but phrases. The words or phrases do not have to be brand-new, but they have to be newly prominent or notable in the past year, in the manner of Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

The vote is the longest-running such vote anywhere, the only one not tied to commercial interests, and the word-of-the-year event up to which all others lead. It is fully informed by the members’ expertise in the study of words, but it is far from a solemn occasion. Members in the 119-year-old organization include linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, grammarians, historians, researchers, writers, authors, editors, professors, university students, and independent scholars. In conducting the vote, they act in fun and do not pretend to be officially inducting words into the English language. Instead they are highlighting that language change is normal, ongoing, and entertaining.

Find the entire article here.

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