American Dialect Society Goes Geek for Word of the Year

Paul Lilly

It's becoming clear that the geek will inherit the English language. In 2008, Merriam-Webster added "webinar," "fanboy," "malware," "netroots," "pretexting," and other tech terms to the dictionary, and now less than two weeks into 2011, "app" has been selected as the "Word of the Year" by the American Dialect Society, MSNBC reports .

The shortened tech term received 69 votes by linguists in a meeting last Friday in Pittsburgh. "Nom" was also being considered, as were the words "junk," "Wikileaks," and "trend."

"Some years there's a very clear choice," said Allan Metcalf, executive secretary of the American Dialect Society. "I think this past year there wasn't anything clearly dominant. But there's no question 'app' is a very powerful word."

Some previous winners include "information superhighway" (1993), "tweet" (2010), and "Google" (Word of the Decade).

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