'Pragmatic' Chosen as Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year

Much-used word in 2011

By Andy Salsman
|  Thursday, Dec 15, 2011  |  Updated 5:43 PM EDT
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Want to look smart to your friends, family and coworkers? Try slipping the word “pragmatic” into your conversations. The polysyllabic adjective is Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2011.

The company had many great choices when it came to the year’s top word. “Occupy” has been popular among lexicographers and protesters alike. In the end, though, Merriam-Webster decided to be – well – pragmatic in its choice.

“’Pragmatic’ is a word that describes a kind of quality that people value in themselves but also look for in others, and look for in policymakers and the activities of people around them,” John Morse, president and publisher of Merriam-Webster, said.

“Pragmatic” means practical and logical; it’s been used quite often this year when talking about politics or the economy.

There is still hope for glory for “occupy” and other hot words. The American Dialect Society still has to announce its pick for Word of the Year. It’ll do so next month, at its annual convention in Portland, Oregon.
 

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