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Merriam-Webster's Top Words of 2009

The folks who bring you the Merriam-Webster dictionary select their top words of the year not by how trendy or new they are, but by which words are the most looked up in their online dictionary. This year, nine of the top ten words are easily linked to big news stories. For example, the word people look up more than any other was "admonish", which had to do with Rep. Joe Wilson's interruption of president Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress in September.
Wilson's interruption wasn't exactly an act of admonishing, since that word (defined by the Visual Thesaurus as "warn strongly" or "take to task") usually implies a gentler, not so confrontational approach. Admonish made the news the following week when the House of Representatives voted on a resolution disapproving of Wilson's conduct. The resolution wasn't so strong as a rebuke or censure, so admonish fit the bill in many of the press descriptions.

Other words on the list include philanderer, pandemic, and rogue. Link -via Metafilter

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