I love the accessibility of the internet. Information on any topic is literally a click or two away from being found and devoured. I adore scouring the World Wide Web my new resource frontier for knowledge, information, power, and instant gratification by finding answers to the questions on my mind in real-time! I am not alone, now more than 8 out of 10 households in the United States have internet access at home according to 2010 Census data.
I still love my old resources, but I am infatuated by their new forms and the searchability of indexed pages. What does that word mean? The Merriam-Webster dictionary is an old friend in the greatest new format. And, they have added so many interesting ways to keep you on their website. You can browse words; you can sign up for the word of the day. My best discovery on the site is that their online dictionary ranks the popularity of words. Did you know that today the word integrity is currently in the top 1% of lookups and is the 87th most popular word on Merriam-Webster.com at the time I started writing this article? Does this allude to the possibility that society is reaching a tipping point where integrity could become commonplace?
Merriam-Webster ranks the most popular words in the past 24 hours, the past 7 days, and the past 4 months. Being a Professional Market Researcher I am compelled to share the list with the longest period of time; and most likely, the greatest number of lookups. Always use the most reliable data.
Merriam-Webster’s Top 10 Most Popular Words for the past 4 Months:
I can’t help it. I am fascinated with the letters on the page that spell them. Why would these 10 be the most searched? Doesn’t anyone know how to spell them? Most of the words do seem like they may be difficult to spell. For example, I spelled albeit wrong more than once and had to correct it using spell check.
Are people concerned they are out of integrity and someone called them on being a hypocrite? As a researcher, I am compelled by my genetic code to want to know the answer and deduce what these words may have in common. I must know.
Being entirely subjective, I am going to say most could be spelling errors waiting to happen, but certainly not love and integrity. Does society long for a new definition of love? Is it no longer fulfilling? And, on that note what is the actual definition of love as defined by Merriam-Webster?
Love 1). Strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties. Well honestly, that is pretty dull. Are people looking up words hoping to find a new linguistic and spiritual meaning to enhance their lives?
Let’s consider another word on the list: “Albeit” which I believe sounds like an artifact. Perhaps, we are in the middle of an unreported verbal renaissance (of course I am going to use big words in this blog -I have an online dictionary open) and people would rather say “It was an amazing computer, albeit expensive” instead of “It was an amazing computer but expensive”.
Are we really trying to weave words like ubiquitous, pretentious, hypocrite, and insidious into our vocabulary? Perhaps we are. Are people looking for new texting words they can shorten? Instead of “I heart you” they say “He was way out of integrity today”. In-text: “He was WOW INT 2day”. IDK.
Maybe ranking this is a challenge in disguise and it is a didactic plan to use them in a sentence. Let me try.
“As an extremely pragmatic woman with a seemingly pleasant disposition, she found the ubiquitous appearance of the handsome, albeit pretentious man she was gazing at across the room a threat to her holistic integrity and a potentially didactic lesson, ultimately exposing her as a hypocrite, albeit for love.”
Clearly, it can be done and maybe it even makes the Top 10 List just that much more exciting. And, the possibility of love for that matter. Maybe when words make the list they stay because people like me look them all up; therefore, increasing their popularity and shelf life.
If it was a marketing research project we would find and quantify the answer. Since, it is not, sadly, today we will not know. This Mindless Babble Blog’s purpose is to get you thinking about your old resources in a new way and bringing the soon to be reported verbal renaissance to your writing and vocabulary, or at least remind you to spell-check.
Alas, we must part ways until my next blog.
by Lynnette Leathers President of Mindspot Research, a division of Mindspot, Inc.