“Subprime” voted 2007 Word of the Year by the American Dialect Society

In its 18th annual words of the year vote, the American Dialect Society voted “subprime” as the word of the year. Subprime is an adjective used to describe a risky or less than ideal loan, mortgage, or investment. Subprime was also winner of a brand-new 2007 category for real estate words, a category which reflects the preoccupation of the press and public for the past year with a deepening mortgage crisis.

The word of the year does not have to be brand-new, but it has to be newly prominent or notable in the past year, in the manner of Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

The runners-up were “Facebook”, “green”, “waterboarding” and “Googleganger”. Do you know what a Googleganger is? It’s a person with your name who shows up when you google yourself!

Founded in 1889, the American Dialect Society is dedicated to the study of the English language in North America, and of other languages, or dialects of other languages, influencing it or influenced by it. Its members are linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, historians, grammarians, academics, editors, writers, and independent scholars in the fields of English, foreign languages, and other disciplines. The society began choosing words of the year in 1990 for fun, not in an official capacity to induct words into the English language.

So, do you agree with this choice? What would be the word of the year according to you? Or what would it be in other languages?

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