Linguists choose “app” 2010 Word of the Year

Condolences to our friends over at Cute Overload for their loss.  One of their favorite words, “nom,” has come in second place to “app” in this year’s competition for the WOTY — Word of the Year.

Article excerpted below.   Full article here.  Really cool song and video “I’ve Got an App for That” here!

Saturday, January 08, 2011
By Sean D. Hamill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The word above all others in 2010? App.

That’s according to the American Dialect Society, which is holding its annual meeting at the Wyndham Grand in Pittsburgh this week and Friday night chose “app” over the word “nom” as its Word of the Year for 2010.

App, which means “an application program for a phone or computer or other electronic device,” was proposed not because it is particularly new or groundbreaking, but because it came into its own and crossed into the wider culture in 2010.

The word was chosen Friday night by about 150 linguists after two days of debate that began with a list of 33 words. Some who argued in favor of “nom” said it was “a vote for happiness,” and that “app” was simply too old a word.

But in the argument that carried the day, Ed Cormany, a doctoral student in linguistics at Cornell University, stopped tweeting on his laptop long enough to rise from his seat to argue that, yes, it may seem that “app” has been around for a long time, but “this year people realized they needed an app for any technology.”

It always gets a little heated,” Mr. Cormany said. “We love our words here.”


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