Archive for 2008 word of the year

Word of the Year 2008: Overshare

Posted in Word of the Year Candidates with tags , , , , , , on December 1, 2008 by Natalie

Your votes are in and the editors at Webster’s New World Dictionary have spoken: 2008’s Word of the Year is overshare!

What is “overshare”?

overshare (verb): to divulge excessive personal information, as in a blog or broadcast interview, prompting reactions ranging from alarmed discomfort to approval.

Watch Editor-in-Chief Mike Agnes explain why Webster’s New World Dictionary selected overshare as 2008’s Word of the Year, plus real life examples of oversharing (and its consequences) from passersby in Washington Square Park, NYC:

Use In Context

Overshare has increasingly been used to reference those who divulge excessive personal information, online as well as offline – Gawker even published a field guide to compulsive oversharers in April 2008. A few other examples of overshare, used in context, can be found here.

Why was overshare chosen as Word of the Year?

Mike Agnes explains why the editors at Webster’s New World Dictionary chose overshare as 2008’s Word of the Year:

“First of all, we’re always interested in words that serve as both noun and verb because we’re linguists. Second of all, this is a word that reflects current trends in public communications and personal sharing of information.

It’s also a word that is rather slip-slippery, chameleon-like. Some people use it disparagingly; they don’t like oversharing. Others think oversharing is good and that one must give full disclosure of one’s inner life. Sometimes there is a generational shift in the way people look at this practice and therefore view the word. We found that very interesting.

Now is overshare in the dictionary? No. Typically words chosen as Word of the Year are parts of emerging English. They’re not yet in. They don’t have a track record of usage. They don’t have a breadth of usage yet that qualifies them for entry in the dictionary. But they are words that we’re watching with our language monitoring program. So this is what the editors of Webster’s New World Dictionary have chosen for 2008’s Word of the Year: overshare.”

Final Candidates for 2008 Word of the Year

Posted in Video, Word of the Year: Final Five Candidate with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2008 by Natalie

Mike Agnes, Editor in Chief of Webster’s New World Dictionary, announces the final five candidates for Word of the Year. We asked passersby at NYC’s Washington Square Park to share thoughts on each of the words.

Learn more about the final candidates for Word of the Year 2008. Click below to view definitions and instances of usage in context:

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