In Memoriam: Allan Metcalf (1940-2022)

Prof. Metcalf in his office at MacMurray College

The American Name Society is sad to announce the passing of longtime ANS member Professor Allan Metcalf. Professor Metcalf was innovator of the American Dialect Society’s Name of the Year selection, which served as the inspiration for the ANS Name of the Year. The celebrated dialectologist served many decades as the Executive Secretary of the American Dialect Society, the sister society of the ANS. He authored numerous popular books of US American English. Two of his most recent publications are OK: The Improbable Story of America’s Greatest Word and The Life of Guy: Guy Fawkes, the Gunpowder Plot, and the Unlikely History of an Indispensable Word. The ANS expresses is sincere condolences to the Metcalf family. For more on Professor Metcalf’s impressive career, see his personal website:

Ukrainians Alter Road Signs to Confuse and Insult Invading Russian Troops

Photo by Укравтодор (State Agency of Automobile Roads of Ukraine)

In the wake of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, authorities are working to remove road signs in order to confuse the Russian military and delay their movement across the country. Ukrainians—both civilians and road service employees—are intentionally removing signs that identify names of roads and places. In their place, road service workers are installing signs that taunt the invading Russian army. One digital display reads “Putin lost, the entire world is with Ukraine.” Others display the final words of the Ukrainian border guards stationed on Snake Island before they were bombed by a Russian warship.

Read more over at NPR.

N.C. State Removes “Dixie” from Alma Mater Anthem

A report from the Raleigh News and Observer notes that North Carolina State University has removed the word “Dixie” from its Alma Mater. The Board of Trustees unanimously agreed with the change, which replaced the word “Dixie” with the word “Southern.” Chancellor Randy Woodson commented on the change, saying: “Traditions remain an important part of NC State…Those traditions must reflect who we are today and what we hope to achieve.” Read more in the Raleigh News and Observer.