Fiscal cliff could join tweet, occupy, and app as Words of the Year, as designated by the American Dialect Society. Allan Metcalf, a professor of English and chairman of the humanities and fine arts division at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, has been the executive secretary of the society since 1981.
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“We go through different categories of words: Most Likely to Succeed, Least Likely to Succeed, Most Outrageous, and so on. We have a vote by a show of hands. After we’ve gone through all of the different categories, we come back to the Word of the Year,” says Metcalf.
“It’s not a scientific thing, exactly, but it is a knowledgeable kind of thing. I came up with this idea in imitation of Time magazine’s Person of the Year.”