Date: Thu, 4 Jan 1996 15:41:32 -0500

From: Allan Metcalf AAllan[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM

Subject: WOTY press release

For media inquiries I'm using the following press release. You may find it of

interest because it lists all our WOTY choices since the game began in 1990.

(Suggestions for improvement will be welcome.) - Allan Metcalf



In a tie vote at the American Dialect Society's annual meeting Dec. 29, both

"World Wide Web" and "newt" were chosen as Words of the Year 1995.

"World Wide Web," also known as "the Web," "WWW," "W3," refers to the newly

prominent resource on the Internet. "It seems to us to be clearly the most

important of these items and the one that will have the greatest future

impact on both language and society," stated John and Adele Algeo, conductors

of "Among the New Words" in the American Dialect Society quarterly journal

American Speech, when they placed "World Wide Web" in nomination.

"Newt," meaning to make aggressive changes as a newcomer, but also found in

combinations like "Newt World Order" and "Newtspeak," reflects the new

prominence of Newt Gingrich, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

"Newt" was nominated by David Barnhart, editor of the new-words quarterly

Barnhart Dictionary Companion.

Preceding the final vote on New Word of the Year, members and friends of the

American Dialect Society, meeting at the Summerfield Suites in downtown

Chicago, also chose these winners in six particular categories:

1. Most Useful: "E.Q." (for "Emotional Quotient"), the ability to manage

one's emotions, seen as a factor in achievement.

2. Most Unnecessary: "Vanna White shrimp," large shrimp for the restaurant


3. Most Likely to Succeed: "World Wide Web" and its variants.

4. Most Original: "postal" or "go postal," to act irrationally, often

violently, from stress at work.

5. Most Outrageous: "starter marriage," a first marriage not expected to be

the last, akin to "starter home."

6. Most Euphemistic: "patriot," an old term used in the new sense of one who

believes in using force of arms if necessary to defend individual rights

against the government.

The American Dialect Society is the professional group for scholars who study

the English language in North America. Unlike other compilers of annual

lists, the Society neither condemns nor praises the words it chooses.

Members simply seek to identify words that express the distinctive

preoccupations of the preceding year. The chosen words or phrases do not

have to be brand new, but they have to be newly prominent or distinctive.

Discussion is far from solemn, because the words often reflect fads and

foibles of the past year.

This year's categories and nominees were determined by American Dialect

Society members and friends in an open meeting of the New Words Committee the

day before the final vote.

This is the sixth time the Society has voted on new words of the year.

Previous choices:

1994 Word of the Year (tie): cyber, pertaining to computers and electronic

communication, and morph, to change form. Most Useful: gingrich, to deal

with government agencies, policies, and people in the manner of U.S. House

Speaker Newt Gingrich. Most Promising: Infobahn, the Internet. Most

Imaginative: guillermo, an e-mail message in a foreign language. Most

Euphemistic: challenged, indicating an undesirable or unappealing condition.

Most Trendy: dress down day or casual day, a workday when employees are

allowed to dress casually. Most Beautiful: sylvanshine, night-time

iridescence of forest trees.

1993 Word of the Year: information superhighway, the national and

international network of computers.Most Useful: thing premodified by a noun,

e.g. "a Chicago thing." Most Unnecessary: mosaic culture to describe a

multicultural society. Most Likely to Succeed: quotative like with a form of

the verb be to indicate speech or thought. Most Outrageous: whirlpooling,

assault of a female by a male group in a swimming pool. Most Amazing:

cybersex, sexual stimulation by computer. Most Imaginative: McJob, a generic,

unstimulating, low-paying job. Most Euphemistic: street builder, a homeless

person who constructs a shanty. Most Unpronounceable: Jurassosaurus

nedegoapeferkimorum, a new dinosaur.

1992 Word of the Year: Not! expression of disagreement. Most Useful:

grunge, a style of clothing. Most Unnecessary: gender feminism, belief

that sex roles are social, not biological. Most Outrageous: ethnic

cleansing, purging of ethnic minorities. Most Original: Franken-,

genetically altered. Most Likely to Succeed: snail mail, s-mail, mail

that is physically delivered, as opposed to e-mail. Most Amazing:

Munchhausen's syndrome by proxy, illness fabricated to evoke sympathy for

the caregiver.

1991 Word of the Year: mother of all -, greatest, most impressive. Most

Unnecessary: massively parallel, many small computers yoked together. Most

Successful: in your face, aggressive, confrontational, flamboyant. Most

Original: molecular pharming, pharming, genetically modifying farm animals

to produce human proteins for pharmaceutical use. Most Likely to Succeed:

rollerblade, skate with rollers in a single row. Most Amazing: velcroid,

a person who sticks by the (U.S.) president, especially for photo


1990 Word of the Year: bushlips, insincere political rhetoric. Most

Useful: technostupidity, loss of ability through dependence on machines,

and potty parity, equalization of toilet facilities for the sexes. Most

Unnecessary: peace dividend, anticipated saving in military spending due to

improved relations with the Soviet Union. Most Outrageous: politically

correct, PC, adhering to principles of left-wing social concern. Most

Original: voice merging, the oral tradition of African-American preachers

using another's words. Most Likely to Succeed: notebook PC, a portable

personal computer weighting 4-8 pounds, and rightsizing, adjusting the size

of a staff by laying off employees. Most Amazing: bungee jumping, jumping

from a high platform with elastic cables on the feet.

# # #

[Words of the Year 1996 will be chosen during the Society's next annual

meeting January 2-5, 1997 at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Chicago. Media

representatives are welcome to attend. For further information contact

Executive Secretary Allan Metcalf.]