Last month, TIME Magazines’s editors, including its Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs, apparently thought it was a good idea to add “feminist” to its list of which words to ban in 2015, as part of its annual “worst words” poll. Well, we’re very happy to report that today, Merriam-Webster, America’s leading and most-trusted provider of language information, included “feminism” among its 2014 Word Of The Year selections.
Merriam-Webster’s Word Of The Year is derived from a list of the Top 10 Most Looked Up Words Of The Year, and for 2014, “culture” got top honors, while “feminism” fell right smack in the middle, taking the #5 spot. But unlike TIME’s let’s-pull-some-hot-button-words-out-of-the-air-just-to-create-controversy list, Merriam-Webster’s list is based on quantifiable data compiled by M-W editors.
“… we’re able to report what words drove the curiosity of the most people during this year.”
From the some 100,000,000 page views merriam-webster.com receives monthly, the words that made the 2014 Top 10 list were “chosen from those words that showed the greatest increase, in percentage terms, of look-ups over the past 12 months, from among the most frequently looked up words on the website,” according to Peter Sokolowski, Editor at Large for Merriam-Webster. He added, “This gives us a sense of what people are thinking about. We’re kind of eavesdropping on a national conversation and we’re able to report what words drove the curiosity of the most people during this year.”
Here are the Top 10 Most Looked Up Words Of The Year: