Sunday, November 18, 2007

Word of the Year overload?

I think Jan Freeman has a point (as she often does):
The WOTY season now rivals our endless holiday shopfest, stretching from Halloween into January, when the American Dialect Society, granddaddy of the WOTY, finally weighs in. … Still, I can't help thinking that 10 weeks of WOTY fever is about eight weeks more than anyone wants.
That said, I'm hoping one of our Verbistes will nominate her creation, peevology, at the granddaddy of all WOTY festivities in Chicago in early January.


Jan Freeman said...

Thanks for the mention, Mr. V! I should probably add that my feelings about the WOTY glut are probably influenced by the total lack of reader response, over the years, to my columns about nominations or selections. That doesn't mean the coverage isn't worth something to the various dictionaries and the ADS, of course. And if someone can tell me I'm misreading the evidence, I'd be glad to hear it.

Mr. Verb said...

Oh, I think you're right on target: If the discussion and press all start a week before ADS/LSA and it all ends a week after (saving for exceptions like truthiness), we're perfect.

Richard Hershberger said...

On a different note, Jan Freeman's discussion of "beknighted" is an excellent example of something a descriptivist would consider an error, contrary the curmudgeons' claim that descriptivists are "anything goes". The form may catch on and the day come when descriptivists no longer consider it an error, while the curmudgeons would require a generation or two to catch up, but that is a different matter.

Mr. Verb said...

That's an interesting prediction ... her column indicates that it's not THAT rare, right?