Mr. Metcalf said the American Dialect Society will release its "Word of the Year" winner in January, but it's selected by the group like Time's Person of the Year.
Dictionary names 'austerity' word of the year →
"Around 20 to 30 years ago, everyone would know what 'socialism' was," said Mr. Metcalf, who is also executive secretary of the American Dialect Society. "Same with bigot. That fact that they have to be looked up says something about us."