Special Event

Word Nouveau: Fanilect Online Event

Thursday, August 03, 2023 | 6:30 p.m.

“Highly Illogical.” “I’m the problem. It’s me.” “Winter is coming.”

Do you speak a fanilect? You just might when you’re talking about your favorite celeb or TV show to your friends who love the same thing! Fandoms have a uniquely common language, or fanilect, that builds a sense of community within a group. Swifties communicate in Taylor Swift lyrics. Sports fans communicate in team cheers. Fans of Star Trek and podcasts about it use distinctive words and phrases. Cynthia Gordon, Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University, tells the story of the newly-coined term fanilect and dives into this specific linguistic phenomenon where fandom and language meet.