Jan 4, 2010

WORD OF THE WEEK: Words of the Year (or Don't Admonish My Tweets)

Summary: Experts are releasing their lists of top words of the year—those most looked-up in online dictionaries, most searched on the internet, and most overused in society. ... Let's not admonish them for their findings 'til we've read their results!

Last year (also known as last week), Merriam-Webster.com released its list of most looked-up words. Top of the list of 10 was admonish. Why? According to the site's Editor-at-Large, Peter A. Sokolowski:

"Admonish shot to the top of the list three days after Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst during a speech made by President Obama ... when the House announced plans to admonish Rep. Wilson .... While this particular story wasn't very important in the context of a year's worth of news," Sokolowski said, "it triggered enormous interest in this word."

To admonish (AD - MON - ish) another is to express warning or disapproval, especially in a gentle, earnest or solicitous manner (again, according to Merriam-Webster.com). This verb entered the English language sometime in the 14th century from the Latin admonere, meaning to warn. A good example sentence is, "After their business luncheon, her boss admonished her for contradicting their client over the amount of the waitstaff's tip."

Other sites chose their words-of-the-year picks—for both cheers and jeers: Discovery News selected Twitter as its most-searched word (according to Microsoft) back in November, before the year's end, while Lake Superior State University admonished popular culture with its annual "Banished Words" list. (Included for the entrance to 2010 were all things e-networking, like tweet and unfriend.)

Follow the links above for a real education in modern word usage in 2010! And if you want to truly show off, share with me just how many of these listed words you can put together in one sentence. I dare you ....

© KiKi Productions, Inc. 2010

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