End of ADS-L Digest - 9 Jan 1994 to 10 Jan 1994 *********************************************** There are 8 messages totalling 359 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. New Words of the Year (2) 2. retroflex r (4) 3. new words 4. New Words ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 11 Jan 1994 01:46:45 EST From: Allan Metcalf Subject: New Words of the Year In spirited discussion and vigorous voting late in the afternoon of Dec. 29, at the American Dialect Society annual meeting in Toronto, members and friends chose the following words and phrases as best typifying the year 1993: 1. Most useful: "thing" as a noun postmodifier, e.g. a Chicago thing, a Bla ck thing, a PR thing, a Friday thing, a World Series thing. . . . 2. Most unnecessary: "mosa ic culture" to describe a heterogeneous, multicultural society [Algeo nom.] 3. Most likely to succe ed: quotative "like" - not the emphatic "like" of hip conversation of years gone by (the media confuse it with this), but "like" with a form of "be" to indicate speech or th ought: I'm like, This can't be happening. She's like, O yes it is. [R. Bailey nom.] 4. Most outrageous: "whirlpooling" assault of a female by a group, usually male, in a swimming pool while they churn the water as a distraction [Algeo nom.] 5. Most amazing: "cybersex" sexual sti mulation by computer transmitted stimuli [Algeo nom.] 6. Most imaginative: "McJob" (sp?) a g eneric, unstimulating, low-paying job taken for lack of better opportunities 7. Most euphemistic: "s treet builder" homeless person who constructs a shanty [Barnhart nom.] 8. Most unpronounceable: " Jurassosaurus nedegoapeferkimorum" a new dinosaur [Barnhart nom.] 9. Word or phrase of the y ear: "information superhighway" system of communication linking computers by fiber-optic cable [so Algeo; I think the term is also used more broadly] As you can see, our categories changed from pr evious years; that's because our two expert nominators invented new categories. We could have had more, but I think we'll go back to just six categories plus an overall word-of-the-year next time, because six-plus-one is about as much discussion and voting as the group can comfortably stand. Also, it was not clear whether the WOTY could be one of the previous winners or had to be different. For '94, I think we should say that WOTY should be chosen from one of the six category winners. So what do you think? Preliminary suggestions for 1994 will be welcome for the end-of-January Newsletter of the American Dialect Society. Also, all ye who wish to attend our San Diego meeting in the finest surroundings ever, you can make your reservations right now by phoning Le Meridien San Diego (at Coronado), 619/435-3000, ask for American Dialect Society rate of $95 for king or double-double; rate is good Dec. 26-Jan. 1 and for as much as 3 days before or after. Later announcements will explain why this is such a good deal. But I mention this now because our block was filled in Toronto and last-minute would-be fellow-trav elers couldn't get space at our rates. Is this maybe long enough for my first public service announcement? - Allan Metcalf]