Dec 15, 2014
By Scott Walker
Merriam-Webster’s has picked its 2014 word of the year.
The selection was based on a significant increase in look-ups this year over last year on Merriam-Webster.com.
But the company says the sudden interest in culture may not mean a renewed interest in the arts. They say the word is being paired with a number of words to give it a much different meaning. Merriam-Webster points to increased use of the phrases “rape culture,” “celebrity culture,” “the culture of winning” in sports, and even “coffee culture.”
The runner-up was “nostalgia.”
Oxford Dictionaries chose “vape” earlier this year. It refers to electronic cigarettes.
And Dictionary.com picked “exposure” during a time of tragedy and fear due to Ebola.
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