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Episode 48: Word of the Year 2021
That Word Chat starts 2022 with its biggest show of the year, featuring a half dozen guests representing the dictionaries and organizations that select a word of the year for 2021.
What single word defined the past year in your mind? What words were coined or gained new meaning during 2021? Each year, the American Dialect Society invites its members and the general public to nominate, discuss, and vote on the words that defined the year in several categories, focusing on that which is new and popular and likely has established itself in the lexicon. Before that, using varying criteria, we hear from Oxford Languages, Merriam-Webster, Dictionary.com, and others.
Our international panel will talk about all the words that shaped 2021 on January 11, the Tuesday after the American Dialect Society selects its words of the year on January 7.
Sign up below for the Zoom link to the live show, then join us at 4:30 p.m. ET (21:30 UTC) on Tuesday, January 11.
Our WOTY panel, from top left: Fiona McPherson of Oxford Languages, Amanda Laugesen of the Australian National Dictionary Centre, Wendalyn Nichols of Cambridge Dictionary, John Kelly of Dictionary.com. Second row: Peter Sokolowski of Merriam-Webster, Ben Zimmer of the American Dialect Society, and Lynne Murphy of the University of Sussex.
Past episodes with links to YouTube
Most episodes are linked to their videos.
Videos generally post eight to ten weeks after the live show on Zoom.
Episode 1 (April 7): Mary Norris
Episode 2 (April 14): Steve Kleinedler and Kory Stamper
Episode 3 (April 21): Roy Peter Clark
Episode 4 (April 28): Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett
Episode 5 (May 5): Ellen Jovin and Brandt Johnson
Episode 6 (May 12): David Crystal
Episode 7 (May 19) Ammon Shea and Peter Sokolowski
Episode 8 (May 26) Lynne Murphy
Episode 10 (June 16): Mignon Fogarty
Episode 11 (June 23): Jesse Sheidlower with special guest Colleen Newvine
Episode 12 (June 30): Jane Friedman
Episode 13 (July 14): Stan Carey and James Harbeck of Strong Language
Episode 14 (July 28): Steve Bien-Aime
Episode 15 (August 11): Ben Zimmer
Episode 16 (August 25): Alaina Lavoie and Caroline Tung Richmond of We Need Diverse Books
Episode 17 (September 8): Heather Bonikowski and John Kelly of Dictionary.com
Episode 18 (September 22): The Quad: Erin Brenner, Sarah Grey, Katharine O'Moore-Klopf, Adrienne Montgomerie, Lori Paximadis, Laura Poole, Amy Schneider
Episode 19 (October 6): Carol Saller
Episode 20 (October 20): Linda Kass of Gramercy Books
Episode 21 (November 10): The Word Puzzlers
Episode 22 (November 17): Merrill Perlman and Teresa Schmedding of the ACES Academy
Episode 23 (December 1): Rob and Teresa Reinalda
Episode 24 (December 15): Emily Brewster
Episode 25 (January 5): The Word of the Year: Ben Zimmer, Peter Sokolowski, John Kelly, Katherine Connor Martin plus Wendalyn Nichols and Lynne Murphy
Episode 26 (January 19): Malini Devadas
Episode 27 (February 2): Kory Stamper
Episode 28 (February 16): Cynthia Williams
Episode 29 (March 2): Grammar Day Celebration with Martha Brockenbrough and Special Guests
Episode 30 (March 16): Iva Cheung
Episode 31 (March 30): June Casagrande
Episode 32 (April 13): Dennis Baron
Episode 33 (April 27): Barbara Wallraff
May 11: Patron Happy Hour (private event)
Episode 34 (May 25): Maisha Maurant and Sangeeta Mehta
Episode 35 (June 8): Lisa McLendon
Episode 36 (June 22): Hannah Franz
Episode 37 (July 6): Arika Okrent
Episode 38 (July 20): Megan Figueroa
Episode 39 (August 3): Ann Friedman
Episode 40 (August 17): Gretchen McCulloch
Episode 41 (August 31): Russell Harper and Daniel Heuman
Episode 42 (September 14): Erin McKean
Episode 43 (September 28): Denise Cowle and Louise Harnby
Episode 44 (October 12): Crystal Shelley
Episode 45 (October 26): Fred Shapiro
Episode 46 (November 9): Paula Froke
Episode 47 (December 7): The Word Puzzlers II
Episode 48 (January 11): The Word of the Year 2021, featuring an international panel of lexicographers
January 18: Patron Holiday Party (private event)
Episode 49 (February 1): Anne Curzan
Episode 50 (March 1): TBA
Thank you to our That Word Chat patrons
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