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'Marriage Equality' Narrowly Loses American Dialect Society's Vote on 2012's Word of the Year

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Gay Voices (The Huffington Post)
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January 8, 2013
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Friday night in Boston the American Dialect Society gathered in a meeting to vote for the 2012 word of the year, and they came very close to choosing "marriage equality." Instead, "hashtag" was selected in a close run-off vote of 118 to 99. In a press release posted shortly after the vote, the American Dialect Society explained that "Word of the Year is interpreted in its broader sense as 'vocabulary item' -- not just words but phrases. The words or phrases do not have to be brand-new, but they have to be newly prominent or notable in the past year." Other candidates for the word of the year included "YOLO" (an acronym for "you only live once"), "fiscal cliff," "Gangnam style" and "47 percent." "Marriage equality" did win the "Most Likely to Succeed" category, one of eight categories that are voted on before the overall word of the year, in a landslide vote. It trounced the competition, which included "fiscal cliff," "superstorm," "MOOC" (for "massive open online course") and "big data," with a total of 156 votes. The other four contenders combined had a total of 41 votes.