The word of the year tradition began with the American Dialect Society, which has just held its annual Word of the Year vote for the 27th time. A group that includes linguists, lexicographers, editors, students, and independent scholars gathered in a crowded conference to vote the old-fashioned way, by raised hand, for the vocabulary items (which can include words, phrases, hashtags, and emojis) that capture the zeitgeist of 2016 in a variety of categories. Here are a few of the choices.
Defined as an “exceedingly disastrous or chaotic situation,” this was the winner for word of the year. Ben Zimmer, chair of the…
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