Over the weekend, word got out that the U.S.'s premier linguistic society voted to award the singular "they" as 2015's Word of the Year, especially with regard to its function as a gender-neutral pronoun for those who identify as non-binary.
I thump my chest and nod my head along with Washington Post copy editor, Bill Walsh, who is quoted on the ADS's blog as saying that the singular "they" is “the only sensible solution to English’s lack of a gender-neutral third-person singular personal pronoun.” You don't even have to cite Shakespeare's or Austen's frequent usage of the singular "they" to bat away accusations of the word's ungrammatical nature. In everyday speech, people use this version of "they" all the time when they're talking about a person whose identity is unknown, even if they aren't doing so out of a sensitivity to gender expression.
Singular "they" received a vast majority of the votes, with the phrase "thanks, Obama" coming in a distant second with 76 votes, and the word "ammosexual" coming in third. Personally I had no idea that anyone was using the word "ammosexual," which means "someone who loves firearms in a fetishistic manner," but I'm now grateful to have it in my clip. Check out these ammosexuals lining up for guns after the San Bernardino shooting. Thanks, Obama.
A couple weeks ago I predicted that "Netflix and chill," had a good chance of snagging the WOTY title, but it only got the majority of votes in the Most Euphemistic category.
Topping the list for Most Useful was "mic drop," "microaggression," and "zero fucks given," which recalls the combative nature of online conversations in 2015. Most Likely to Succeed went to "ghost," which is what I'd do with in this post right now, but this year the ADS added a new category called Most Notable Emoji. The winner?