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Dec 5, 2012 No Comments ›› Chuck Biscuits

Excerpted from The Ticket: Americans apparently swept up by election year rhetoric looked up “socialism” and “capitalism” more than any other words in 2012, with “touché” running in the third spot, dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster announced on Wednesday. (Also cracking the top 10 were “malarkey,” “marriage” and “schadenfreude”; “meme” earned a spot, too, thanks to a spike related to Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” comment.)

The list, derived from the volume of lookups on the Merriam-Webster site, reflected the war of words surrounding the presidential election. “Socialism,” the company said, spiked during coverage of health care and also jumped after both party conventions and each of the presidential debates. Interest in “capitalism” also rose along the same lines.

“We saw a huge spike for ‘socialism’ on Election Day itself, but interest in both words was very high all year,” says Peter Sokolowski, editor at large at Merriam-Webster. “Lookups of one word often led to lookups of the other.”

the top 10 most looked-up words of 2012. Use them all in a single sentence, win a prize! (Not really.)

socialism and capitalism
touché
bigot
marriage
democracy
professionalism
globalization
malarkey
schadenfreude
meme

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