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Choosing 2007’s Word of the Year

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Every year, the American Dialect Society chooses a "word of the year." We'll talk with Grant Barrett and Martha Barnette, co-hosts of A Way With Words, about this year's contenders and what makes a go

Choosing 2007’s Word of the Year

(Photo: Grant Barrett and Martha Barnette, courtesy of Olga Gunn )

Tom Fudge: I'm sure everyone has heard of the American Dialect Society . No? Well, they've been around for 117 years. More importantly, the society is known for naming a word of the year each year. We haven't heard what their choice for 2007 is. But last year they chose "plutoed." This word refers to the fact that the one-time planet "Pluto" was declared not to be a planet by a group of astronomers. So if you get plutoed, it means you've lost a certain amount of status. Not a good thing to be plutoed.

Other organizations, mainly dictionaries, have gotten into the word of the year game, coming up with their own winners. In the end, this is an attempt to get a handle on the way the English language is changing by creating new words, based on new knowledge and ways of life.

Guests