Literacy Daily, “2014’s ‘Word of the Year'”

January 20, 2015

2014’s ‘Word of the Year’,” article written for Literacy Daily (International Literacy Association, Jan. 20, 2015)

Teachers and students alike may tend to think of words as static items in the dictionary, sturdy building blocks of our vocabulary that have been solemnly passed down from earlier generations.

In my day job as executive editor of, I look at ways that we can make the English lexicon come to life through fun, engaging gameplay and rich online features that clearly illustrate how words work in the world.

But earlier this month, I was wearing another hat, as chair of the American Dialect Society’s New Words Committee. In that capacity, I preside over Word of the Year proceedings at the society’s annual conference, held this year in Portland, OR, in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America.

Read the rest here.

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