What Would James Murray Think?: Addendum 1

In the post to which this post provides an addendum, I reported that the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) had selected “selfie” as the word of the year for 2013, with “twerk” running a close second.

The American Dialect Society (ADS) has subsequently announced its word of the year, as well as winners in a number of narrower categories. Unlike the OED, the ADS reports the votes that each word received.

The ADS’s word of the year is “because,” which is now being used in clipped or truncated prepositional phrases and adverb clauses such as “because reasons” or “because science.” These new usages of “because” received 127 votes. The runs-up included: “Obamacare,” 39 votes; “slash” (used as coordinating conjunction, as in “”come and visit slash stay for the weekend”), 21 votes; “selfie,” 20 votes; and “twerk,” 7 votes.

In the category of “Most Useful” word of the year, “because” again beat out “slash,” 64 votes to 59, which was close enough to require a run-off vote, which “because won 117 to 79. Runners-up included: “selfie”; “strug(gle) bus,” meaning a difficult situation, though it can also be used as a predicate; and “ACC,” an acronym for “aggressive carbon-copy.”

The award for “Most Creative” word of 2013 went to “catfish,” meaning to misrepresent oneself online, typically as part of a romantic deception. The runners-up included: “doge,” meaning an Internet meme with deliberately ungrammatical exclamations over the image of a dog; “robo-sapiens,” referring to robots with human-like intelligence; and “bitcoin,” one of the new encrypted digital currencies.

By a very wide margin, the “Most Unnecessary Word” of 2013 was deemed “sharknado.” Runners-up included “cronut” and “stack-ranking.”

In the category of the “Most Outrageous” word of 2013, “underbutt,” referring to the underside of the buttocks revealed by very short shorts or skirts, narrowly beat out “revenge porn,” referring to the vindictive posting of intimate photos or videos of a former lover; “thigh gap,” the space between one’s thighs, thought by some to be a new measure of attractiveness; “fatbergs,” solidified collections of fat in a sewer system; and “schmeat,” referring to meat products grown in a laboratory.

The “Most Eupehmistic” word of 2013 was “least truthful.” Runners-up included “slimdown,” a play on “shutdown” but referring to a decrease in staffing or production, and “demised,” meaning laid off.

The “Most Likely to Succeed” word of 2013 was “binge-watch,” referring to the successive viewing of multiple episodes in a television series. Runners-up included: “Obamacare”; “glasshole,” referring to the obliviousness to one’s surroundings caused by wearing Google glass; and “drone,” used as a transitive verb, as in to target with a drone.

The winner by a very wide margin as the “Least Likely to Succeed” word of 2013 was “Thanksgivukkah,” simply because the two holidays will not again fall on the same date for another 70,000 years. The runners-up were “bithmas,” referring to birthdays on December 25th, and “Harlem Shake,” referring to the Internet video meme involving samplings of the song of the same name.

And, finally, in the new category of the “Most Productive” word of 2013, the winner was “-shaming,” as in “fat-shaming.” Runners-up included: “-splaining”; “-(e;)fie,” referring to blends of “selfie” such as “drelfie,” for “drunk selfie”; “-hack”; and “-spo.”

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