Jennifer D. Wade Journal

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Occupy This!

I feel like I'm a little behind schedule with this post, but time marches on, and on January 6, 2012, the fine members of the AMERICAN DIALECT SOCIETY will meet in Portland, Oregon to choose the 2011 Word of the Year (WOTY). You can read the complete schedule HERE.

You may recall that I correctly PREDICTED (OK, I flat-out guessed) that the 2010 WOTY would be "app." You couldn't turn around without hearing the phrase "there's an app for that." The word was everywhere. If only there had been an app to make it go away ...

Anyway, since I'm on a one-year hot streak, I'll have a go at picking the 2011 Word of the Year. I don't have a lot of thoughts about it, but I think there's one obvious choice: the word "occupy." The movement to Occupy Wall Street as a protest against corporate power and greed spread to cities all across the US. There is even a small group of people that has occupied Scranton by camping out for months on Courthouse Square. As far as I know, however, no one has tried to Occupy Wilkes-Barre. (insert joke here)

The movement itself has gotten a lot of media attention as the longevity of the protests has increased and as attempts to move protesters have sometimes become violent. Because the Occupy movement is so high-profile, the word "occupy" has naturally been adapted for use in areas that have nothing to do with the movement itself. For example, when the company I work for installed a computer program called Opus, signs reading "Occupy Opus" appeared in the newsroom during the training process.

So, I feel that "occupy" has a good chance of occupying the top spot in the WOTY contest. Nothing else is really coming to mind.

If you want to submit a nomination for the 2011 Word of the Year, you can do so by emailing, tweeting to the Twitter user name @americandialect or using the hashtag #woty11, or they can be posted on our FACEBOOK PAGE.

May the best word win!

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