We still have a month left before 2009 comes to a close forever, but Merriam-Webster has already published its “words of the year” (what about the remaining 9% of 2009!?!?!?). The interesting aspect of M-W’s list is that it uses the words that were most looked up on its online dictionary as the basis for the list, instead of selecting a few “buzzwords” that were in the news often.

Apparently, the word that was looked up the most in Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary this year, and thus named Word of the Year, was: admonish. Interesting selection, to say the least. It is a word with a specific definition within the range of similar terms:

1 a : to indicate duties or obligations to b : to express warning or disapproval to especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner
2 : to give friendly earnest advice or encouragement to

So, it can mean to either give “warning or disapproval” OR “friendly earnest advice”. It’s easy to see where the constant confusion arises from for readers…

The other words on the list:

  • emaciated
  • empathy
  • furlough
  • inaugurate
  • pandemic
  • philanderer
  • repose
  • rogue
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