American Dialect Society names ‘occupy’ its word of the year

Finally, a relevant pick for 2011’s top term.

Oxford dictionaries selected “squeezed middle,” a relevant British phrase, but one that is widely unknown in the United States.

Dictionary.com chose “tergiversate.” If the online resource wanted to be irrelevant, it sure succeeded with that pick.

Merriam-Webster went with “pragmatic,” because it was the most-searched word online. That’s a rather, yes, pragmatic pick.

The above selections dismayed Ragan and PR Daily contributor Eileen Burmeister, who last month compared them to a real dud of a gift. “Like the Christmas sweatshirt that your Aunt Blanche cross-stitched candy canes across, just under the lace collar?”

If the other words of the year were Aunt Blanche’s handcrafted sweatshirt, then the American Dialect Society’s selection is the gift you’d been asking for since autumn and fully expected to receive.

Its choice: “occupy.”

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