Each year, the American Dialect Society vote on what they call the “Word of the Year”. It might be a new word that was coined by a politician or singer, it might be a word that adopted a new meaning, or it might be an old word that suddenly surged in popularity. Sometimes the ‘word’ of the year is actually two words that, when put together, have a new meaning.
Since 1999, I have selected my own personal “Word of the Year”. Like the ADS, my choice can be a word I never heard before, or one that suddenly surged in popularity for me personally (for whatever reason). When two words seem to be vying for Word of the Year, I select one ‘winner’ and one runner-up.
Below are my “Words of the Year,” with brief explanations.
All words are clickable links.
|Year||Word||Definition||Explanation||Runner-up (if any)||Definition||Explanation|
|1999||Filmlet||A short film; generally under 40 or 60 minutes.||Began using the term to describe the short films I create.|
|2000||Viscosity||The property of resistance to flow in a fluid.||Studied viscocity and used a viscometer in college.||Flyboat||A street in the city of Apple Valley.||Put a down payment on a townhome on Flyboat Lane.|
|2001||Denouement||The final outcome of the dramatic complications in a literary work.||Learned the word in film class in college. Loved it.|
|2002||GMP (Good Manufacturing Processes)||The practices and systems required to be adapted in pharmaceutical industries.||Began working in pharmaceutical industry.|
|2003||Environmental Monitoring||The processes and activities that characterize and monitor the quality of a given environment.||Began working part-time in microbiology department.|
|2004||Big Lake||A city in Minnesota, northwest of the Twin Cities metro area.||Moved to Big Lake.||Doula||A person who provides non-medical support to women and their families during labor, childbirth, and postpartum.||My wife hired a doula during her pregnancy.|
|2005||Cephalohematoma||A localized effusion of blood beneath the skull of a newborn due to the disruption of vessels during birth.||My son was born with it.|
|2006||Cognitive Dissonance||The discomfort caused by holding conflicting ideas or beliefs simultaneously.||Realized this was a condition I'd had for about five years.||Love Bombing||The deliberate show of affection by an individual or group toward another individual motivated by the desire to recruit, convert, or influence.||Finally was able to put a term to a practice I'd seen, oh, about ten thousand times.|
|2007||Apraxia||A disorder of the brain and nervous system in which a person is unable to perform certain tasks or movements.||My son was diagnosed with it.||Theodicy||Philosophical attempts to rationalize a just, loving deity with the evil in the world.||Read a lot about this in 2007.|
|2008||Geocaching||An outdoor activity in which people use navigation techniques to hide and seek containers.||A friend introduced me to this activity.|
|2009||Matriculation||The formal process of being admitted to a college or university.||Enrolled at Hamline University.|
|2010||Firestorm||A conflagration which attains such intensity that it creates and maintains its own wind system.||Visited Hinckley Fire Museum, and read a book about it.|
|2011||Dunnage||Material used to protect and secure cargo during transport.||Transferred to packaging department at work.|
|2012||VoC (Voice of Customer)||A business term used to describe an in-depth process of discovering a customer's wants and needs.||Worked extensively on VoC initiatives at work.|
|2013||Overton Window||The range of ideas the public will accept.||First heard this term at an Atheists' Conference.||Comstockian Language||Language fit for a prudish audience.||Also heard this term at the conference.|
|2014||Historiography||The study of historical writing.||Wrote an historiography for History class in college.|
|2015||KonMari||A way of life and a state of mind that encourages cherishing the things that spark joy in people’s lives.||Read the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up||Diatomaceous Earth||A naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder.|