Latest news: Annual Meeting Schedule — Now Online-Only, January 6-9, 2022

2003 Words of the Year

January 13th, 2004 § Comments Off on 2003 Words of the Year § permalink

Here are the final vote tallies for the 2003 Words of the Year from the American Dialect Society at its annual conference, held this year in Boston. These are the words which most colored the nation’s lexicon, or otherwise dominated the national discourse.

Note that voting tallies for each category will vary in their totals, for not all attendees voted in all categories. Votes were held in a series of run-offs until a clear winner was recognized. Votes are listed according to voting rounds, first-second-third.

Word (or Phrase) of the Year This is the word or phrase which most signifies 2003:

Winner metrosexual: noun, a fashion-conscious heterosexual male, or, as coiner Mark Simpson put it, a man who “has clearly taken himself as his own love object.” 20-36-35

pre-emptive self-defense: noun, an attack before a possible attack.18-10

embed: verb, to place a journalist with troops or a political campaign. Noun, a journalist who is so placed. 7

zhuzh, tjuzs: verb, to plump up, fluff up or primp. 4

governator, gropenator, gropenführer: noun, the current Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger. 3

weapons of mass deception: plural noun, the hunt for weapons of mass destruction as a pretext for war. 10

weapons of: formative, including weapons of mass destruction, weapons of mass distraction. 3

SARS: acronym for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. This was a surprise entry after the first elimination round, unorthodoxly nominated by one of our members from China. (no first round)-24-31

Most Useful: word or phrase which most fills a need for a new word

Winner flexitarian: noun, a vegetarian who occasionally eats meat. 31-41

SARS: 12-9

-shoring: formative, indicating the location of jobs or businesses, including offshoring, moving businesses or jobs out of the country; rightshoring, returning them to the US; and nearshoring, moving them to Canada. 3

embed: 8

ass-hat: noun, a thoughtless or stupid person. 3

text: verb, to send a text message. 11-24

Most Creative

Winner freegan: noun, person who eats only what they can get for free. 18-23-45

tanorexia: noun, the condition of being addicted to tanning. 0

governator, gropenator, gropenführer: 20-27-32

manscaping: noun, male body-shaving. 22-22

tofurkey: noun, a faux turkey crafted from tofu. Also a trade name. 1

metrosexual: 12

Most Unnecessary: word for phrase for which we already have a perfectly good word, or which fills a need no one has.

Winner freedom: noun, replacing “French” in phrases or compound nouns such as French fries, French kiss, and French tickler. 54

Bennifer: noun, the couple of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. 18

Most Outrageous: word or phrase most likely to cause complaint.

Winner cliterati: collective noun, feminist or woman-oriented writers or opinion-leaders. 28-38

torture lite: noun phrase, torture short of bodily harm. 14

useful idiot: noun phrase, a human shield for the enemy. 6

DILF: abbreviation for Dad I’d Like to F…, patterned after MILF. 21-33

Most Euphemistic: word or phrase which least says what it means to.

Winner pre-emptive self-defense: noun phrase, an attack made before a possible attack. 45

population reduction: noun phrase, a combat assignment. 4

transfer tube: compound noun, a body bag. 11

extraordinary rendition: noun phrase, the deportation to a country that will receive a person unkindly, such as with torture. 5

Most Likely to Succeed: word or phrase most likely to be here next year.

Winner SARS: 40

zhuzh, tjuzs: 8

metrosexual: 14

-lite: combining form, as in patriotism lite, torture lite, Bush lite, a moderate Democrat. 9

Least Likely to Succeed: word or phrase least likely to be here next year.

Winner tomacco: noun, a hybrid of tomato and tobacco, which happens to be poisonous. 54

Lib Radio: noun phrase, liberal talk radio. 7

zeta-jones: verb, to scarf or eat ravenously. 10

recockulous ridiculous 0

Best Revival: word or phrase brought back from the past.

Winner spider hole: compound noun, an expertly camouflaged hole used by soldiers from which they can strike. This term goes at least back to 1941. 52

downer sick cow 2

frog-marching: noun, walking awkwardly in restraints while under arrest. 10

Collyer: noun, in New York City, a person trapped under their own collected debris in their apartment. 4

Acts of the Executive Council, January 2004

January 12th, 2004 § Comments Off on Acts of the Executive Council, January 2004 § permalink

ADS is governed hierarchically but openly. Most of the society’s decisions are made by the Executive Council, but they are made at a meeting open to participation by all members. On Friday morning, January 9, 2004, the Council held its annual meeting in the Jefferson Room of the Sheraton Boston. Twenty-one ADS members attended, including a majority of the nine-member council. President Michael Montgomery (U. of South Carolina) presided. These matters were discussed and determined:

1. The American Speech search committee, consisting of current editor Connie Eble (U. of North Carolina, chair), William A. Kretzschmar, Jr. (U. of Georgia) and Robert Bayley (U. of Texas, San Antonio), announced a successful conclusion, proposing Michael Adams (Albright Coll.) as editor, replacing Eble after a transition year 2005, and Sonja Lanehart (U. of Georgia) as associate editor for book reviews, starting immediately. Both nominations were approved unanimously.

2. At Eble’s nomination, the following were approved for three-year terms 2004–2006 on the American Speech Editorial Advisory Board: Matthew Gordon (U. of Missouri), Erin McKean (Verbatim, Oxford U. Press), Thomas Nunnally (Auburn U.), and Jan Tillery (U. of Texas, San Antonio). She thanked the four who were completing their term on the Advisory Board: David Barnhart (Lexik House), Robert Ness (Dickinson Coll.), Natalie Schilling-Estes (Georgetown U.), and Beth Lee Simon (Indiana U.-Purdue U.-Fort Wayne), as well as Associate Editor Michael Montgomery, New Words editor Wayne Glowka (Georgia Coll. and State U.), and Managing Editor Charles Carson (Duke U.).

3. Carson announced that PADS 88, the every-two-decades overview of Needed Research in American English, is done, and No. 89 will be “You Know My Steez”: An Ethnographic and Sociolinguistic Study of Styleshifting in a Black American Speech Community by H. Samy Alim(Duke U.). General Editor for ADS Publications Ronald Butters (Duke U.) said that there have been few submissions for our monograph series PADS or even expressions of interest, though they have been of high quality.

4. Concerns about the content and format of the ADS website led to the appointment of a committee: Grant Barrett (ADS Webmaster, New York City), Ronald Butters, Dennis Preston (Michigan State U.), and Allan Metcalf (ADS executive secretary). The committee was instructed to report to the Council by April 1 regarding possible improvements.

5. Our publisher, Duke U. Press, was represented by Journals Marketing Assistant Mandy L. Dailey-Berman. With her the Council discussed marketing and in particular the Duke Press website. The Council voted to keep dues unchanged for 2005: $50 for regular members and $25 for students, plus $10 for members outside the United States. Copies of the press’s circulation and financial reports are available from ADS Executive Secretary Metcalf

6. For the Hans Kurath Fund in support of Linguistic Atlas work, the Council approved Bill Kretzschmar‘s nomination of Lee Pederson (Emory U.) to another three-year term 2004–06 as one of the three trustees. Kretzschmar also obtained the Council’s approval of new members for his advisory board: Joan Hall(Dictionary of American Regional English), Jesse Sheidlower (Oxford U. Press), Richard W. Bailey (U. of Michigan), Sali Tagliamonte (U. of Toronto), and Edgar Schneider (U. of Regensburg). Researchers interested in financial support from the Kurath Fund for Atlas work should get in touch with Kretzschmar.

7. The Council designated the Methods in Dialectology conference to be held at the Universite de Moncton in New Brunswick, Canada in early August 2005 as the official ADS Summer meeting for 2005. This came at the request of Walter Cichocki (U. of New Brunswick), who seeks a Canadian government grant in support of the conference. ADS has supported and indeed provided grants for previous Methods conferences.

8. The ADS-sponsored faculty member at the 2005 Linguistic Institute at Harvard will be Kretzschmar. (Subsequently, in February, the Council approved financial support for a second professorship at that institute, for John Nerbonne, U. of Groningen, Netherlands.)

9. Joan Hall reported on behalf of the archives committee, whose other members are Montgomery and Beverly Flanigan (Ohio U). The Society’s archives from 1889 to 1981 are at the U. of Massachusetts, Amherst. The committee will work with Executive Secretary Metcalf regarding the disposition of more recent materials.

10. The following were reappointed as regional secretaries for two-year terms 2005–06: Midwest, Kathryn Remlinger (Grand Valley State U.); South Central, Michael R. Dressman (U. of Houston-Downtown); South Atlantic, Michael Picone (U. of Alabama).

11. Michael Adams was reappointed as organizer of ADS sessions for Modern Language Association meetings, Dec. 27–30, 2004 through 2006.

Annual Business Meeting

As noted above, most of the Society’s decisions are made in the Executive Council meeting. At the Annual Business Meeting in the morning of January 9, the only official action was to elect Nancy Niedzielski (Rice U.) to the Executive Council for the four years 2004–07.ADS is governed hierarchically but openly. Most of the society’s decisions are made by the Executive Council, but they are made at a meeting open to participation by all members. On Friday morning, January 9, 2004, the Council held its annual meeting in the Jefferson Room of the Sheraton Boston. Twenty-one ADS members attended, including a majority of the nine-member council. President Michael Montgomery (U. of South Carolina) presided. These matters were discussed and determined:

1. The American Speech search committee, consisting of current editor Connie Eble (U. of North Carolina, chair), William A. Kretzschmar, Jr. (U. of Georgia) and Robert Bayley (U. of Texas, San Antonio), announced a successful conclusion, proposing Michael Adams (Albright Coll.) as editor, replacing Eble after a transition year 2005, and Sonja Lanehart(U. of Georgia) as associate editor for book reviews, starting immediately. Both nominations were approved unanimously.

2. At Eble’s nomination, the following were approved for three-year terms 2004–2006 on the American Speech Editorial Advisory Board: Matthew Gordon (U. of Missouri), Erin McKean (Verbatim, Oxford U. Press), Thomas Nunnally (Auburn U.), and Jan Tillery (U. of Texas, San Antonio). She thanked the four who were completing their term on the Advisory Board: David Barnhart (Lexik House), Robert Ness (Dickinson Coll.), Natalie Schilling-Estes (Georgetown U.), and Beth Lee Simon (Indiana U.-Purdue U.-Fort Wayne), as well as Associate Editor Michael Montgomery, New Words editor Wayne Glowka (Georgia Coll. and State U.), and Managing Editor Charles Carson (Duke U.).

3. Carson announced that PADS 88, the every-two-decades overview of Needed Research in American English, is done, and No. 89 will be “You Know My Steez”: An Ethnographic and Sociolinguistic Study of Styleshifting in a Black American Speech Community by H. Samy Alim(Duke U.). General Editor for ADS Publications Ronald Butters (Duke U.) said that there have been few submissions for our monograph series PADS or even expressions of interest, though they have been of high quality.

4. Concerns about the content and format of the ADS website led to the appointment of a committee: Grant Barrett (ADS Webmaster, New York City), Ronald Butters, Dennis Preston (Michigan State U.), and Allan Metcalf (ADS executive secretary). The committee was instructed to report to the Council by April 1 regarding possible improvements.

5. Our publisher, Duke U. Press, was represented by Journals Marketing Assistant Mandy L. Dailey-Berman. With her the Council discussed marketing and in particular the Duke Press website. The Council voted to keep dues unchanged for 2005: $50 for regular members and $25 for students, plus $10 for members outside the United States. Copies of the press’s circulation and financial reports are available from ADS Executive Secretary Metcalf

6. For the Hans Kurath Fund in support of Linguistic Atlas work, the Council approved Bill Kretzschmar‘s nomination of Lee Pederson (Emory U.) to another three-year term 2004–06 as one of the three trustees. Kretzschmar also obtained the Council’s approval of new members for his advisory board: Joan Hall(Dictionary of American Regional English), Jesse Sheidlower (Oxford U. Press), Richard W. Bailey (U. of Michigan), Sali Tagliamonte (U. of Toronto), and Edgar Schneider (U. of Regensburg). Researchers interested in financial support from the Kurath Fund for Atlas work should get in touch with Kretzschmar.

7. The Council designated the Methods in Dialectology conference to be held at the Universite de Moncton in New Brunswick, Canada in early August 2005 as the official ADS Summer meeting for 2005. This came at the request of Walter Cichocki (U. of New Brunswick), who seeks a Canadian government grant in support of the conference. ADS has supported and indeed provided grants for previous Methods conferences.

8. The ADS-sponsored faculty member at the 2005 Linguistic Institute at Harvard will be Kretzschmar. (Subsequently, in February, the Council approved financial support for a second professorship at that institute, for John Nerbonne, U. of Groningen, Netherlands.)

9. Joan Hall reported on behalf of the archives committee, whose other members are Montgomery and Beverly Flanigan (Ohio U). The Society’s archives from 1889 to 1981 are at the U. of Massachusetts, Amherst. The committee will work with Executive Secretary Metcalf regarding the disposition of more recent materials.

10. The following were reappointed as regional secretaries for two-year terms 2005–06: Midwest, Kathryn Remlinger (Grand Valley State U.); South Central, Michael R. Dressman (U. of Houston-Downtown); South Atlantic, Michael Picone (U. of Alabama).

11. Michael Adams was reappointed as organizer of ADS sessions for Modern Language Association meetings, Dec. 27–30, 2004 through 2006.

Annual Business Meeting

As noted above, most of the Society’s decisions are made in the Executive Council meeting. At the Annual Business Meeting in the morning of January 9, the only official action was to elect Nancy Niedzielski (Rice U.) to the Executive Council for the four years 2004–07.

Where am I?

You are currently viewing the archives for January, 2004 at American Dialect Society.