Merriam-Webster’s word for the year may come as a surprise for most people. It is the word “They” and according to research conducted by Merriam-Webster, it is due to the shifting use of the personal pronoun. Research has shown that the lookup for the word “They” has increased by 313% in 2019.
This is mostly due to the ever-increasing practice of using the singular “They” pronoun to refer to a person whose gender identity is non-binary. And it is usually used in the place of the words he or she. And throughout the year, the word has been used and searched in the same context.
Aside from They, many other words have gained a great deal of popularity in 2019. The top 10 are the words Quid pro quo, Impeach, Crawdad, The, Clemency, Egregious, Tergiversation, Exculpate, and Camp.
Various factors are to blame for these words being so popular. For example, due to President Trump’s recent political scandal wherein the Democratic Party has called for his impeachment, the word impeach has increased in lookups. The same goes for the word exculpate, wherein the word received an increased 23,000% on the Merriam-Webster site after Robert Mueller used the word in his testimony.
Overall, what we can learn from this list is that recent political and social events can influence the number of online lookups a great deal. And it really makes one wonder what words, next year’s events can influence.
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