Merriam-Webster’s 2011 Word of the Year
Merriam-Webster Dictionary just announced this year’s “Word of the Year” which is…drum roll please…”pragmatic”. Pragmatic, a slight step-up from the 2010 Word of the Year “austerity”, was chosen by editors as this year’s winning word because it received the highest number of look-ups on the Merriam-Webster online dictionary.
Results show that the word’s look-up results rose significantly before August’s debt ceiling vote and during the congressional supercommittee’s meetings. It seems that law makers were not the only ones searching for a “pragmatic” approach to the budget crisis that has been pervading the nation’s social and political climate. The multitude of devices born out of the Digital Age have aided us in nearly every aspect of life so far, so why turn to it during times of political party impasse?
Maybe policymakers should take a hint from the web-surfing community and look up “pragmatic” before taking their seats at the next congressional committee meeting. Though the word “pragmatic” did not make an appearance at the latest series of congressional events, the rest of America has deemed it this year’s winner. The winning-word prompts me to ask the question, “If you could chose the word of the year, what would it be?”
“In political terms, we could alter the definition of pragmatic to ‘practical as opposed to ideological’ — in this sense, it is opposed to the most uncompromising political ideas or ideals,” Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s editor-at-large told POLITICO. “It sort of has the idea of compromise and accomplishment, and it seems to me that’s what people are looking for.”