We welcome six new members to the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel:.
Sadie Dernham Patek Professor Emerita in Humanities and Senior Researcher at the Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University
Robert Lane Greene
Author; Correspondent and language columnist, The Economist
Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham
Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University
Biographer; recipient, Pulitzer Prize
Anna Deavere Smith
Playwright; actress; professor; MacArthur Fellow; recipient, National Endowment for the Humanities Medal
University Professor and Professor of Linguistics, Georgetown University
Visit AHDictioanry.com a full list of our Usage Panelists
In late August, we sent the members of our Panel the 2014 ballot. Two of the words we are balloting this year are grow and orientate. Use of the verb grow to refer to items other than vegetation is often reviled as business jargon. We last balloted it in 1992, when a majority of the Panel found it unacceptable (with 98% rejecting grow down). Has acceptability increased since then? Orientate has not been balloted before. Some language mavens find it incorrect, others regard it as a quaint Britishism, and yet others view it as interchangeable with orient. What will the Panelists say? And will their responses differ depending on exactly how it’s used? Here are the ballot questions we devised for these two issues:
Are the following sentences completely unacceptable, somewhat unacceptable, somewhat acceptable, or completely acceptable?
grow One of our key strategies is to grow our business by increasing the number of clients.
We’ve got to grow our way out of this recession.
If elected, I shall do my utmost to grow down the deficit.
I’m trying to grow my Twitter following.
orientate On emerging from the subway station, I had to take a moment to orientate myself.
On emerging from the subway station, I had to take a moment to orient myself.
The architect orientated the building on an east-west axis.
The architect oriented the building on an east-west axis.
The building is orientated on an east-west axis.
The building is oriented on an east-west axis.
The Panelists will have several weeks to fill out the ballot and then, with the help of Steven Pinker, the Usage Panel chair, we’ll tabulate and analyze the results and incorporate them into our Usage Notes in 2015.
Thank you for visiting the American Heritage Dictionary at ahdictionary.com!