Yesterday, members of the American Dialect Society selected their nominees for Word of the Year for 2013. Ben Zimmer, chair of the society’s New Words Committee, presided over the nominating session and has summarized the nominations in a Visual Thesaurus column.
In addition to the traditional categories (Most Useful, Most Likely to Succeed, etc.), members proposed a new category, Most Productive, for word parts that have given rise to a number of new words. (For example, -elfie has produced selfie, drelfie, and twolfie twofie.)
Quite a few of the nominations overlap with my own list, which I published last week. A couple of other words (fatberg, demised) were my words of the week during the year.* But I’m equally interested in the words I hadn’t considered, including robo sabiens, stack ranking, and struggle bus.
The final vote will take place at 5:30 today, Friday. If you’re in Minneapolis, you can join in the fun by simply showing up. If you’re playing along at home, follow Ben Zimmer on Twitter, or search for the hashtag #woty13.
* For the record, I didn’t nominate fatberg or demised because they originated in the UK and haven’t yet been adopted in the US. This is, after all, an American word-of-the-year vote.