May 23rd, 2014

Hugo Logo

Return of the One Vote Wonders

A while ago I wrote about "One Vote Wonders," that being people who, upon being informed that one member of WSFS had put that person on his/her Hugo Awards nominating ballot, started describing themselves as a "Hugo Award Nominee." Similarly, of late I've seen people who never made the final ballot, but were on the "They Also Ran" list of people who got at least 5% of the nominations in a category or were in the top fifteen places, being described as "Hugo Award Nominees." Now this is not how WSFS has used the term "Hugo Award Nominee" throughout the more than fifty years of the Award, but I've been told (including right on this LJ) that the "plain meaning" of the term "nominee" means that even one nomination makes you a "Hugo Award Nominee" and that I should stop being so mean to people who are only trying to promote the Hugo Awards by crowing about their nominations.

Well, of course, people plumping up being a "Hugo Award Nominee" really are hoping that what will rub off on them is any cachet from the previously-accepted meaning of the term, which is "one of the people on the final award ballot." That's wrong, but I also recognize that it's nearly impossible to prevent it. Oddly enough, the success we've had in promoting the Hugo Awards over the past few years is leading to this sort of thing, whereby people unaware of the Award's history and tradition have decided that the "plain meaning" of the term is what they're going to use, even though a one-vote wonder is meaningless. After all:

Collapse )

In effect, I'm acting like the members of the private club who had a member who was suspected of cheating at cards. Rather than going to the expense, bother, and embarrassment of expelling the member, everyone else resigned, formed a new club, and didn't invite the card cheat to join. He "won," but it was an empty prize. I suggest we do the same thing to people who have opted to hijack "Hugo Award Nominee." Let them have their "nominee" status, but invest the power in term "finalist" instead.