American Dialect Society

‘Dumpster Fire’ Is Chosen by The American Dialect Society as Word of the Year

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…