Turns out the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary’s word of the year --- bailout --- leading the top 10 list, has its roots going back more than 60 years ago, reminds Grumpy Editor.
The re-emerged word, used heavily in print and broadcast reports in recent weeks, is dressed up with a new meaning: A rescue from financial distress.
That moved it to the forefront in lookups.
Bailout was an often-repeated word during World War II when military personnel parachuted from distressed aircraft. You'll hear the word often in the many motion pictures depicting WWII air action.
The No. 2 popular word this year is vet. It’s a word, or a contraction of a word, that has multiple meanings.
This year’s usage refers to vetting, as in evaluating candidates for a position for possible approval or acceptance. And, of course, the shortened vet can also refer to a veterinarian or a person who served in the military.
Other words in the top 10 list:
3 --- socialism
4 --- maverick
5 --- bipartisan
6 --- trepidation
7 --- precipice
8 --- rogue
9 --- misogyny
10 --- turmoil
Somehow, while widely used this year, “recession” didn’t make the list.
Not as exciting as the above words, but getting much play in print and broadcast reporting is the lowly “but,” as Grumpy Editor points out in the Dec. 1 posting (see below).
Check the front page of your newspaper today. Notice how “but” is worked into sentences.
But (whoops! sorry about that) that’s the way it goes --- as 2008 fades.