Think 2016 was a “🗑🔥.” ? The nation’s top linguists agree.
The American Dialect Society just named “dumpster fire”—and the two emoji that represent it—its Word of the Year. Why? Because, it says, the phrase best represents “the public discourse and preoccupations” of 2016.
The society of linguists, grammarians, and wordy scholars has awarded the prize each year since 1990, back when “bushlips,” defined as “insincere political rhetoric,” won Word of the Year and “politically correct” won Most Outrageous. This year, after an initial deliberation by the society’s New Words Committee, more than 300 members of the Linguistic Society of America voted at a standing-room-only reception during the society’s annual conference. The entire slate had a political bent, but “dumpster fire” ultimately triumphed over “woke,” “normalize,” “post-truth,” “#NoDAPL,” and—in distant sixth place, sans dumpster— “🔥.”
Of course, “dumpster fire” held meaning before it became 🗑🔥. You can trace it to 2009, when sports radio host Mike Wise used the phrase in a column about the Redskins losing to the Lions, calling it an “abomination of a loss.” Or go further back, to 1936, when George Dempster invented the garbage truck and called it the “Dempster-Dumpster.” But the paralinguistic forms, as they’re known, offer an additional form of self-expression—one we especially needed in 2016.
Inevitably, some of 2016’s most popular expressions will fade from the zeitgeist, joining the likes of “Y2K” (1999 Word of the Year) and “to be Plutoed” (2006 Word of the Year). But the practice of creating new phrases to describe cultural events will continue—and in an era of digital communication, that includes emoji. Let’s just hope 2017 is more 🔥, less 🗑.
Read More Here >>> How ‘Dumpster Fire’ Became 2016’s Word of the Year