Date: Wed, 11 Jan 1995 20:46:43 -0500 From: AAllan[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM Subject: Re: Words of the Year Natalie points to one of the two great difficulties in choosing (New) Words of the year, namely, are they really new? This question has agitated our neologurus Algeo (cf "Problems in New-Word Lexicography," Dictionaries 15 [1994]) and Barnhart (handout at the ADS new-words committee meeting last month - hope he'll publish it), and it clouded our discussion at the annual meeting to the point where someone (Larry Davis?) said it was threatening to become serious. But seriously, folks, I think our (N)WOTY exercise is becoming useful for us as an in-your-face challenge to determine objective or reasonable criteria for defining new words. The Algeos fall back on the simple NIMDD criteria (=not in my desk dictionary) - if a word appears in one of their nine select current dictionaries, it's not new. Is there any other way? Oh, you wondered about the other great difficulty? That's the question of deciding on reasonable categories for the WOTYs, and clear criteria for choosing winners other than pure personal preference. I think we can have serious consideration of these fundamental questions, while still maintaining the levity of our selection sessions. But join us at the Barclay in Chicago this December and help out! - AAllan