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Merriam--Websters word of the year for 2020

Manwon Lender

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Ding, ding, ding: Merriam-Webster on Monday announced “pandemic” as its 2020 word of the year. “That probably isn't a big shock,” Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for Merriam-Webster, told The Associated Press.

“Often the big news story has a technical word that's associated with it and in this case, the word pandemic is not just technical but has become general. It's probably the word by which we'll refer to this period in the future,” he said.

The word took on urgent specificity in March, when the coronavirus crisis was designated a pandemic, but it started to trend up on Merriam-Webster.com as early January and again in February when the first U.S. deaths and outbreaks on cruise ships occurred.





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Yes, the jinxed number of a year 20-20...any new words the Webster-Merriam Dictionary added this year to further enhance the global English language? COVID which are initials for COronaVIrus Disease is a single new word just like AIDS (Acquired Immunity Deficiency Syndrome) when it was discovered in 1981. Interestingly, there are lots of old English words no longer in modern usage of everyday life in the current year, the dictionary has outdated words described and what their meanings are (in case anyone wonders about them).

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