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Merriam-Webster’s Top Words of 2005

It’s the end of December, and you know what that means: everyone from search engines to music labels to sports nuts to, um, online dictionaries is releasing their lists of the Top Whatevers of 2005.

In most cases, these lists serve to confirm whether you’ve been sufficiently aware of (or blissfully ignorant of) the collective cultural spirit the sources claim to represent. Imagine: people used search engines to get information on Britney Spears, check up on Harry Potter, find video game cheat codes, and learn about current events. Who’d have thought?

Now the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary is getting into the act, releasing its top online dictionary lookups of 2005. And the results seem to skew a little more towards current events and middle-school homework assignments than typical search engine queries. At the top of the list is integrity, but the rest of the list seems surprisingly focused on terms related to the U.S. political process and recent U.S. hurricanes.

Top Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary Lookups for 2005

  1. integrity
  2. refugee
  3. contempt
  4. filibuster
  5. insipid
  6. tsunami
  7. pandemic
  8. conclave
  9. levee
  10. inept

What? No blog? No podcast? Who knows, maybe the kids will turn out all right!