Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Words Matter

Words are important and some people even think they are more important than numbers and equations (silly folks these are). So what words do people search for when they consult the oracle? Well here is the top 10 according to Merrian-Webster (I don’t think these are alternative facts or fake news).

10.  feckless, meaning “weak” or “ineffective”. It comes from the Scottish word feck, which can mean “value” or “worth”, and so a thing that is feckless may also be said to be “worthless”. Searches for this word spiked dramatically after Mike Pence used it in the vice-presidential debate in October.

9. Faute de mieux is pronounced \foht-duh-MYUH\ and means “for lack of something better”. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg used the French expression in a written opinion for a decision announced in June causing the surge in searches.

8. Assumpsit is a legal term defined as an express or implied promise or contract, the breach of which may be grounds for a lawsuit. Congressman Joe Kennedy introduced his former professor, Senator Elizabeth Warren, at the Democratic National Convention with an anecdote about his embarrassing first day of law school including assumpsit.

7. irregardless Was used on the air by one of the broadcasters calling the final game of the World Series. This started a fire storm on social media claiming it isn’t even a word. Merrian-Webster categorizes it as “nonstandard” and suggest using regardless instead.

6. deplorable is defined as an adjective meaning either “lamentable” or “deserving censure or contempt,” a synonym of “wretched” or “abominable”. Hillary Clinton used deplorables, which makes it a noun and Merrian-Webster doesn’t have a definition for it.

5.  bigly is an adverb meaning "in a big manner" or, archaically, "in a swelling blustering manner". The funny thing is Donald Trump never said it. He actually said was big league, using it as an adverb, as in: “I’m going to cut taxes big league.”  Problem is big league is only defined as a noun or adjective.

4. In omnia paratus, the Latin phrase that means “ready for all things”. Finally one not from politics but from Netflix and their revival of “Gilmore girls”

3. Icon means “a person who is very successful and admired”. After the death of Prince (or whatever name or symbol you use) searches for icon spiked. It was a bad year for rock and roll with his and many other passings.

2. Revenant means "one that returns after death or a long absence," and comes from the French word that means "to return”. Again thanks to the world of entertainment due to the movie of the same name.


1. Surreal “marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream.” And if that isn’t fitting for this year I don’t know what is.

1 comment:

Reuben Guntipally said...

I believe words are more important than numbers and equations.