1. What was linguist Geoff Nunberg’s Word Of The Year?

ISS Astronaut Aki Hoshide taking a selfie in space via Twisted Sifter View in High-Res

    What was linguist Geoff Nunberg’s Word Of The Year?


    ISS Astronaut Aki Hoshide taking a selfie in space via Twisted Sifter

  2. fresh air



    geoff nunberg

    word of the year


  1. The rules for quoting and attributing can seem arbitrary at times, with little connection to the respect for intellectual property that originally motivated them. You could think of them just as a kind of literary etiquette. But etiquette is just what comes of reducing moral principles to the explicit codes of conduct that govern our civil life. [Rand] Paul may not have been guilty of dishonesty, just cavalier disrespect for the rules. You don’t put on the feathers of another, not even the drab ones that you find lying around on the ground.

    — Fresh Air’s Linguist Geoff Nunberg takes a critical look at plagiarism

  2. fresh air

    geoff nunberg



  1. The Oxford English Dictionary still doesn’t have an entry for the modern meaning of “demonize,” as in “they demonized the bankers,” and it still defines a “couple” as “a man and woman united by love or marriage.” And no dictionary I know of has an or “slur” as in “racial slur,” to refer to a word that disparages somebody on the basis of traits such as race, ethnicity, or gender. That new use of “slur” goes back half a century. But it doesn’t jump out at you the way novelties like “squadoosh” and “twerk” do.

    What we get from the Internet isn’t a Google Earth view of the entire language. It’s more like a screenshot of its Twitter feed.

    —  Geoff Nunberg, linguistics contributor for Fresh Air

  2. twerk

    fresh air

    geoff nunberg



  1. Redefining a word isn’t always the same as giving it a new meaning. Sometimes you’re just trying to pare it down to the core concept that people missed the first time around. Dictionary definitions of “camera” used to mention film and plates; now they just refer to a photosensitive surface. But the meaning of “camera” isn’t different; it’s just that now technology lets us see what its essence has been all along.

    — Geoff Nunberg on how dictionaries are even grappling with getting ‘marriage’ right

  2. Geoff Nunberg




  1. Geoff Nunberg will reveal his word of the year today

    (Last year, his word of the year was no. In 2008, it was Joe.)

    Any guesses? What word do you think meant the most this year?

  2. word of the year

    geoff nunberg



  1. By the time the i- prefix was fleshed out, Apple had transformed itself from a culty computer maker to a major religion.

    — Linguist Geoff Nunberg says the i-prefix began as an abbreviation for the word Internet, but ended up meaning much more than that.

  2. ipod




    geoff nunberg




  1. The word water is commonly pronounced /wʊdər/ (with the first syllable identical to the word wood, so that it sounds like wooder.

    — From Philadelphia Dialect, aka the way everyone in Philadelphia says the word water.

  2. waaahter