And the Word of the Year Is . . . by Linda Bennett Pennell

Springfield, Massachusetts-based Merriam-Webster has announced their pick for word of the year and the winner is . . . culture. Really? Culture? My initial reaction was to ask, “What were they thinking?”

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 10.20.00 AMThe dictionary giant based the choice on the 15% year-over-year increase  in look ups on their on-line dictionary and app. Apparently 15% is huge in terms of hard numbers. Culture is a word that causes little to no misunderstanding when used among English speakers and writers. It’s denotative meaning was agreed upon long ago:

Middle English, cultivated land, cultivation, from Anglo-French, from Latin cultura, from cultus, past participle

First Known Use: 15th century (Merriam-Webster On-line Dictionary)

So what makes culture so suddenly special?

As I ponder possible answers, it occurs to me that the word culture is no longer a stand alone in terms of usage. It is has been wedded to everything from business to school to…

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About NevaBrown

Neva Brown, a retired secondary teacher/administrator, now enjoys the challenge of writing romance novels and doing editing for other romance writers. She has even ventured into the social media world of Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as well as having a website; . Neva lived on West Texas ranches most of her life and uses that culture and environment in many of her stories. She and her husband now live at Rio Concho West in San Angelo, Texas. They are amazed at how well they have adjusted to ‘city’ living. Neva loves to hear from her readers. She can be reached at
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