… rosebud. Sorry, we couldn’t resist that. The real answer is culture. Associated Press’s Leanne Italie explains:
Merriam-Webster based its pick and nine runners-up on significant increases in lookups this year over last on Merriam-Webster.com, along with interesting, often culture-driven — if you will — spikes of concentrated interest.
We won’t. We can appreciate that M-W’s editorial staff took a quasi-scientific approach to deciding the word of the year: Culture, we are informed, “enjoyed a 15 percent year-over-year increase.” But they left so many better possibilities on the cutting room floor.
Take, for example, rape. It has been one of the left’s causes célèbre this year, or — more accurately — the crusade against it. That crusade began with the left fixating on a flawed and antiquated study that claimed that 20% of women college campuses are rape victims. It was escalated in March by the creation of a White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. Recently, the Daily Caller reported that the rate of sexual assaults on college campuses is actually 0.61%. Their source? Statistics provided by the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Of course, the battle to combat campus rape is but a subset of the larger mission to end the war on women, another creation of the left. Among the manifestations of this war are the claims of workplace inequality and the fight for reproductive rights. Both of the highlighted terms would make excellent words of the year all by themselves, except that they are phrases.
Workplace inequality starts with another myth, which is that women earn 77 cents for every dollar that men earn. One place where that is true, ironically, is the Obama White House, but Barack Obama is nothing if he is not hypocritical.
Reproductive rights, meanwhile, is a sanitized substitute for abortion, which has so many ugly connotations attached to it. Once again, the president is a champion of reproductive rights … well, sort of. He did say at this National Prayer Breakfast in Washington:
The killing of the innocent is never God’s will. In fact, it is the ultimate betrayal of God’s will.
But as he would hasten to point out, he didn’t mean aborted fetuses but, rather, innocent children killed in terrorist attacks. Like, for example, the collateral damage (another great term of the year) from his own drone strikes, which a newly released study found are simultaneously less effective but more deadly to civilians than the administration has acknowledged.
Which suggests one final word of the year. That is obama, which may be used either a verb or a noun. Feel free to provide your own definitions and sample sentences.