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Merriam-Webster Announces the Most-Looked-Up Words of 2012

People are still using the dictionary, which ought to come as a nice surprise to the many of us who’d assumed language was now just some sort of crowdsourced wet clay that anyone is free to swing by and shape to their most fleeting whim. Merriam-Webster has actually been keeping track of which words are looked up most, and this year’s winner is a tie between “capitalism” and “socialism,” which should come as no surprise. For all the looking-up people did, it didn’t do that much, since those two words are still tossed around with about as much discretion as popcorn kernels. Some other words in the top 10: democracy, globalization, marriage and bigot …

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