Most Looked-up Words of 2012

Each year about 1.2 billion users visit Merriam-Webster’s (MW) website in search of the meaning of a word that pops up in watercooler conversations across the nation. Since this was an election year, there is little surprise that most of the words are associated with politics and government. For the first time since 2003, the editors of MW have anointed two words as the two most looked-up words of 2012: capitalism and socialism. Editor at large, Peter Sokolowshi, explained, “They’re words that sort of encapsulate the zeitgeist. They’re words that are in the national conversation. The thing about an election year is it generates a huge amount of very specific interest.”

Other contenders for the top spot of the most looked-up words include:
Malarkey: nonsense
Meme: behavior passed on by imitation; also an image, video or phrase distributed via the internet
Touché: during a discussion, means “point well made”; a new misuse adds the meaning of “tough luck”
Schedenfreude: taking pleasure from another person’s misfortune or misery
Professionalism: the skill or competence expected of a person engaged in a paid occupation

For further information:–politics.html

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