Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Nominees Aren't Always People

No, I'm not calling any of the finalists for this year's Hugo Awards finalists names or trying to denigrate them. I'm trying to clarify some confusion over terminology caused by the difference between the technical meaning of a term and its colloquial usage.

When reading the Hugo Award rules, the word "nominee" does not mean "the author of the nominated work." Specifically, someone brought up this section of the WSFS Constitution:

3.8.4: If a nominee appears on a nomination ballot more than once in any one category, only one nomination shall be counted in that category.

...and asked how specifically-named people could possibly have multiple stories shortlisted in the same category. The reason, of course, is that "nominee" doesn't actually mean "author of work," although it's common enough to refer to people that way.

The word "nominee" in the WSFS Constitution Hugo Award rules is a placeholder for "the work, serial publication, or individual nominated for an Award, depending on the nature of the category." So in the "story" categories, "nominee" = "the nominated work, not the author," in the periodical publication and Fancast categories, "nominee" = "the publication/series, not the editor or publisher," and in the BDP categories, "nominee" = "the episode or specific work, not the writer, director, or producer." It is only in the "people" categories (the two Editors, the two Artists, and Fan Writer) where "nominee" = "person nominated."

Of course, a "work/series/publication/etc." can't give consent, so Award acceptance is delegated to whoever can give consent for that thing. In general, that would be the author of a written-fiction work. For the other non-human "nominees," the situation is murkier than you might think, especially for BDP. I don't have time to think about it right now. I'm running on less than five hours sleep per night right now and trying to do my Day Jobbe as it is.

A similar caveat applies to "finalist" as used in the revised wording up for ratification that replaces most of the "nominee" mentions with "finalist" because of the confusion that people were making between "received at least one nomination for an Award" and "had a place on the Final Hugo Award ballot."
Tags: hugo awards, wsfs

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