Linguists and lexicographers tend to take a long view, not so concerned with the latest fads and innovations in the development of language. But among their ranks are neologism hunters who keep track of words and phrases as they bubble up into mainstream usage (and sometimes disappear just as quickly). Even when such novelties lack staying power, they speak to the endless creativity present in any language community. Here, Ben Zimmer looks at some innovations in 21st-century English, at a time when electronic communication powerfully shapes the way new words and phrases travel, and when high-tech tools allow scholars to trace these lexical trajectories with remarkable precision.

Traveling Among the New Words: Lexical Adventures in the Digital Age

Sunday, 8 January 2017
JW Marriott, Austin, Texas

LSA Public Lectures on Language- Ben Zimmer


BEN ZIMMER is a linguist, lexicographer, and all-around word nut. He is the language columnist for The Wall Street Journal and former columnist for The Boston Globe and The New York Times Magazine. He has worked as executive editor of Vocabulary.com and editor for American dictionaries at Oxford University Press. As Chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society, he organizes the selection of the society's Word of the Year. Zimmer is the recipient of the Linguistic Society of America's first ever Linguistics Journalism Award.