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Call for Papers for 2019 American Dialect Society Annual Meeting in New York City, January 3-6

April 19th, 2018 § Comments Off on Call for Papers for 2019 American Dialect Society Annual Meeting in New York City, January 3-6 § permalink

From Thursday, January 3, through Sunday, January 6, 2019, the American Dialect Society will hold its annual meeting in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York City.

Monday, August 13, is the deadline for proposals for 20-minute presentations. Abstracts of no more than 500 words will be submitted, reviewed, and processed for ADS2019 via the EasyChair system using the following website:

Three important notes about submitting through EasyChair, especially if you’ve never done it before:

  1. Because EasyChair publishes conference proceedings, you’ll see the option to upload a complete paper — just ignore that option.
  2. EasyChair is based in England and its clock keeps Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), so submissions will close automatically at 23:59 GMT, which is not a North American end of the day; we recommend submitting your abstract on or before August 12, because the system will not accept late submissions.
  3. The system will not allow you to upload an abstract longer than 500 words, including title, references, etc.; if the system won’t accept your submission, check to see if you’ve inadvertently exceeded the word limit.

Proposals will be judged anonymously by a team of American Dialect Society members. If your proposal is accepted, you’ll be asked for an abstract of no more than 100 words for the LSA program guide.

This year a poster session will again be available. If you prefer to present at a poster rather than a 20-minute paper, please say so with your proposal.

Presenters must be current members of the American Dialect Society. Membership is inexpensive! You may join here.

Do not send the same proposal to both the American Dialect Society and the Linguistic Society of America. We also discourage submissions that have been presented at the previous NWAV conference.

New: The Roger Shuy Best Paper of the Year in American Speech Award.

This award honors the best paper to appear in the American Dialect Society’s journal American Speech in the previous year.

The selection criteria for the award will be based on some or all of the following: research excellence, exemplification of the mission of the journal, depth and thoroughness of the analysis, innovation, style, anticipated impact, and social relevance.

The recipient of the award will be decided by a committee consisting of the society’s president, its past president, the editor of American Speech, and the managing editor and associate editor of the journal’s pedagogical section.

The award has been funded by Professor Roger Shuy and will be called the Roger Shuy Best Paper in American Speech of the Year Award. The honor will include $100 to be presented by Professor Shuy at the annual ADS luncheon.

Panels: This year, the program will include the biennial panel on teaching American speech. If you are interested in participating, please contact Anne Curzan at Abstracts of contributions to the panel will be reviewed individually, similar to the 20-minute presentations.

Last January, the ADS Executive Committee agreed on the following policy regarding panels (besides the teaching panel): Going forward, only especially timely panels will be considered for the programs of annual meetings. If you have questions about the policy or would like to propose an especially timely panel, please contact Michael Adams at

Audio-visual equipment: An LCD projector with sound will be available for all presentations, along with a microphone. If you will need other equipment, please say so when you send your proposal.

Scheduling: The meeting will follow this general schedule. A more detailed schedule will be posted in the fall.

Thursday, January 3: Executive Council and annual business meeting in afternoon. Program session in late afternoon, followed by Word of the Year nominations.

Friday, January 4: Program sessions in early morning and all afternoon. Poster session in late morning. Words of the Year vote and Bring-Your-Own-Book reception in early evening.

Saturday, January 5: Program sessions in morning and afternoon; Annual Luncheon in between. Luncheon speaker: Sali Tagliamonte, University of Toronto and President, American Dialect Society, on “Doing Dialectology in the 21st Century.”

Sunday, January 6: Program sessions in morning.

Session chairs: If you’re interested in chairing a session, contact Michael Adams at

Travel grants for students: Six travel grants of $500 each will be awarded to students whose papers have been chosen for the program. Furthermore, all students who are members of ADS are invited to attend the annual luncheon for free.

Travel grant for ADS member: The seventh annual Audrey Duckert Memorial Travel Award of $500 to attend the Annual Meeting will be given to an ADS member. The recipient will be chosen by ADS President Sali Tagliamonte. Applications in the form of a letter to President Tagliamonte will be due after the program for the Annual Meeting has been determined. Audrey Duckert was a long-time member of ADS and co-founder of the Dictionary of American Regional English.

Hotel and registration: ADS members will be eligible to reserve rooms and register for the meeting at LSA member rates. For details see the website

Future LSA-ADS meeting: 2020: Jan. 2-5, Hilton New Orleans Riverside.

WOTY: As we have done for a quarter of a century, we will choose candidates for Word of the Year on Thursday and vote for our WOTY the next day, with our Bring-Your-Own-Book exhibit and reception immediately following. Nominations for Words of the Year can be submitted all year long to or on Twitter @americandialect.

“Fake news” is 2017 American Dialect Society word of the year

January 5th, 2018 § Comments Off on “Fake news” is 2017 American Dialect Society word of the year § permalink

GRAND AMERICA HOTEL, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—JAN. 5—In its 28th annual words of the year vote, the American Dialect Society voted for fake news as the Word of the Year for 2017. Defined in two ways, “disinformation or falsehoods presented as real news” and “actual news that is claimed to be untrue,” fake news was selected as best representing the public discourse and preoccupations of the past year.

Presiding at the Jan. 5 voting session were Grant Barrett, vice president of the American Dialect Society and co-host of the public radio show “A Way With Words,” and Jane Solomon, lexicographer for and member of the American Dialect Society’s New Words Committee.

Fake news was first considered by the American Dialect Society a year ago in the voting for the 2016 Word of the Year, but at the time its meaning was restricted to fictional or embellished stories presented as authentic news, disseminated for financial gain or for propagandistic purposes. In 2017, however, the meaning of fake news shifted and expanded, in large part due to its repeated use by President Donald Trump.

“When President Trump latched on to fake news early in 2017, he often used it as a rhetorical bludgeon to disparage any news report that he happened to disagree with,” said Ben Zimmer, chair of the American Dialect Society’s New Words Committee and language columnist for the Wall Street Journal. “That obscured the earlier use of fake news for misinformation or disinformation spread online, as was seen on social media during the 2016 presidential campaign.”

“Trump’s version of fake news became a catchphrase among the president’s supporters, seeking to expose biases in mainstream media,” Zimmer continued. “But it also developed more ironic uses, and it spread to speakers of all ages as a sarcastic putdown.” Fake news was nominated by the sixth-grade class of Academy I Middle School in Jersey City, NJ, and voters at the Word of the Year event agreed with their choice.

Word of the Year is interpreted in its broader sense as “vocabulary item”—not just words but phrases. The words or phrases do not have to be brand-new, but they have to be newly prominent or notable in the past year.

The vote is the longest-running such vote anywhere, the only one not tied to commercial interests, and the word-of-the-year event up to which all others lead. It is fully informed by the members’ expertise in the study of words, but it is far from a solemn occasion.

Members in the 129-year-old organization include linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, grammarians, historians, researchers, writers, editors, students, and independent scholars. In conducting the vote, they act in fun and do not pretend to be officially inducting words into the English language. Instead, they are highlighting that language change is normal, ongoing, and entertaining.

In a companion vote, sibling organization the American Name Society voted “Rohingya” as Name of the Year for 2017 in its thirteenth annual name-of-the-year contest.

Read the full press release, including all winners, candidates, and vote tallies for all candidates.

All previous years’ winners are listed here.

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