Dec 15, 2014

By Scott Walker

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Merriam-Webster’s has picked its 2014 word of the year.

It’s “culture.”

The selection was based on a significant increase in look-ups this year over last year on

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 picked “exposure” during a time of tragedy and fear due to Ebola.


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