Friday, November 25, 2011


Yes, the rusty old WOTY machine has been dragged (drug?) out of the barn, cleaned off and oiled up. Oxford University Press has fired its opening salvo, squeezed middle, described here and defined as:
the section of society regarded as particularly affected by inflation, wage freezes, and cuts in public spending during a time of economic difficulty, consisting principally of those people on low or middle incomes.
The reaction from the American Dialect Society list and other Americans has been surprise, I guess. (Whatevs, my preferred current post on the OUP blog is about giving thanks for beer, here.)

I've heard and seen various suggestions already, aside from the discussions on the Log (like this). In the past, we here at Team Verb have tended to tilt at windmills on this topic (hey, peevologist is a cool word, dammit), but this year, let me play Captain Obvious:

The 2012 Word of the Year should be …


Yes, I realize that the Global Language Monitor has made it their WOTY, which no doubt will cost it many votes at the ADS meeting. Still.

By the way, just before the WOTY festivities in Portland in early January, there will be a session about the Dictionary of American Regional English, our beloved DARE. Be there.

Image from everywhere, basically, but taken from here.


John said...

I'd like to nominate 'technocrat' as the WOTY? The word may not be as topical over there as it is in Europe but when you see the irony in how the people who helped get Euroland into the mess it's in are the very people (technocrats) being appointed (without being elected) to run Greece and Italy, the word has to be a heavyweight contender.

Mr. Verb said...

True, it's hardly new but it's gained really new prominence this year. Was it the NYT that had a piece on how it is now both negative and positive depending on context?