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#ironymatters, bae

American Dialect S dodges a swipe of the selfie stick

Dear Hipster:

I just thought you should know, the American Dialect Society voted #blacklivesmatter as its Word of the Year. Sorry to the person who was hoping for “selfie stick.”

— Anne

Selfiestick couldn’t even take “most likely to succeed.”

Sometimes, the ADS selects with remarkable prescience, like nominating “trend” as 2010’s “most likely to succeed.” Other times, they prove woefully out of touch, like giving “Tebowing” a greater chance of success than “brony” in 2011. QB Tim Tebow’s teams dropped him left and right, whereas the bronies have their 2015 convention in August.

Hopefully, #blacklivesmatter will prove more enduring than feel-good, popular protest movement Word of the Year 2011, “occupy”; all but forgotten in 2015, the eponymous protest has proved less enduring than a hipster’s fingerstache. “Bae,” one of the most popularly reviled words on Reddit and Twitter, received only three votes for Word of the Year. Initially popularized in black American dialects, bae (short for baby) started to catch on with suburban teenagers imitating rappers, and some hipsters using the term ironically. That sounds to me like a bit of “columbusing” — the ADS’ “most creative” word of 2014, for when white people get into something previously enjoyed by non-white, like most non-country music, and take it mainstream, often to great commercial success, and often at great cost to the non-white parties.

In case it’s not clear why I point this out, I find delightful irony in the ADS making a show of solidarity with black communities, arguably skipping more widely relevant words, all the while enshrining the quietly racist tendencies of language itself.

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Dear Hipster:

I just thought you should know, the American Dialect Society voted #blacklivesmatter as its Word of the Year. Sorry to the person who was hoping for “selfie stick.”

— Anne

Selfiestick couldn’t even take “most likely to succeed.”

Sometimes, the ADS selects with remarkable prescience, like nominating “trend” as 2010’s “most likely to succeed.” Other times, they prove woefully out of touch, like giving “Tebowing” a greater chance of success than “brony” in 2011. QB Tim Tebow’s teams dropped him left and right, whereas the bronies have their 2015 convention in August.

Hopefully, #blacklivesmatter will prove more enduring than feel-good, popular protest movement Word of the Year 2011, “occupy”; all but forgotten in 2015, the eponymous protest has proved less enduring than a hipster’s fingerstache. “Bae,” one of the most popularly reviled words on Reddit and Twitter, received only three votes for Word of the Year. Initially popularized in black American dialects, bae (short for baby) started to catch on with suburban teenagers imitating rappers, and some hipsters using the term ironically. That sounds to me like a bit of “columbusing” — the ADS’ “most creative” word of 2014, for when white people get into something previously enjoyed by non-white, like most non-country music, and take it mainstream, often to great commercial success, and often at great cost to the non-white parties.

In case it’s not clear why I point this out, I find delightful irony in the ADS making a show of solidarity with black communities, arguably skipping more widely relevant words, all the while enshrining the quietly racist tendencies of language itself.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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