One potential side effect of doing a WotY is that it would give us a big stock of good words (ie, all the runners-up) that could be used for a Wordie Word of the Day. I know, I know--everybody does this, and I don't want to be in the business of competing with Anu Garg and all the others. But Wordie is different. It would be a good way to seed the universe with particularly good madeupical words, ones that really should enter the vernacular.
I understand what you're saying, there are so many good words and lists that it would be really hard to pick out the top ones, and some awesome stuff from 8 months ago would be left out. I'll have to think about this some more.
It's Germanic. It has some dozen letters. It has three syllables. Its meaning is not so elegantly expressed in English. Why do we shy away from the obvious? I think we should embrace the s-word. What could better capture the essence of Wordie than sprachgefuhl? As for the other s-word...gack. Overrated.
I don't think I could possibly single out a list, or even a dozen lists, to be the top list(s) of the year. There are so many brilliant and interesting ones. Do you rate them for originality? Comprehensiveness? Cleverness? Length? Number of phonemes?
I'd be too concerned that I'd pick something I like now, or liked in the past couple of weeks, over something that utterly captivated me, say, eight months ago. Then it would end up being a popularity contest with the results basically skewed toward the more recent. It's like saying "The League of Extrawordy Gentlemen" (or "The Committee for Brilliance in Wordieness," or whatever) "hereby declares that this is the List of the Year, or actually of late November 2007, even though we're pretending it's for the whole year." You know, like the Oscars.
Choosing a word, just one, is about as much difficulty as I can stand outside of my job.
Because we will form some sort of nominating committee, we don't have to worry about THAT WHICH WILL NOT BE SPOKEN winning. I envisioned us choosing only madeupical words (not really fair for me to use that here), but rare words that no one had chosen would also be useful.
Well, I made a list, but then deleted it. Apparently we vote--or rather, nominate--by adding the tag woty07 to a word page. I have no idea how we vote or who tallies them. It seems like John is the likely person to officiate, but then he may demur.
Oh, I love this idea. It's not too much work technically (I could whip something up, or use something embeddable like micropoll), but I should warn you I think I'll soon be time constrained: Looks like I'm starting a new job soon, details tba once they're finalized. I'll still be doing as much Wordie stuff as I can--I frickin' love working on Wordie, it would kill me to stop--but I'll have to slow down a bit.
I think the tough part of a Word of the Year selection process would be how to whittle the nominations down to a pollable number. Maybe tags could do the trick -- like anyone can nominate a word by tagging it woty07? And once there's a sufficient number of nominations perhaps the Coed League of Extrawordy Gentlemen could convene and select the finalists?
I propose that Wordie do a word of the year. John, can we do a poll somehow? Also, if enough people are interested, we could put the voting on the front page. We could also do things like comment of the year, thread of the year, list of the year, etc. Then, John could get a special gold star to add to the appropriate pages. Possibly silver, bronze, and nomination stars for others.
Suggestions for various categories and input on details on how this will work are appreciated. Eventually, we'd start a "X of the Year: 2007" page and take nominations. Some group of us, possibly the league of extrawordy gentlemen, possibly an independent group, possibly John if he wants to, can sift through the nominations and come up with 5 or so to be put onto the poll, which people can vote for at some point in December.
We should also get John's input to check if this poses any technical challenges on his end.