December 29, 2016
Word of the Year
‘Surreal’ declared Merriam-Webster’s 2016 word of the year
In a word, 2016 was “surreal.”
Surreal, meaning “marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream” was looked up so much by online users that Merriam-Webster on Monday dubbed it the 2016 word of the year.
Surreal joined the Oxford English Dictionary’s “post-truth” and Dictionary.com’s “xenophobia” as top words of the year.
“Our word of the year is one that people came back to over and over again in response to several events, and it gives us a look at 2016, according to what sent us to the dictionary,” Merriam-Webster editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski said in a video posted by the company on its website.
In recent history, “surreal” rose to the top of searches after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, the Newtown shootings that left 26 children and educators at a Connecticut elementary school dead in 2012, the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 and comedian Robin Williams’ suicide in 2014, according to Merriam-Webster.
Other words on Merriam-Webster’s notable list:
Icon - The spike in lookups came after Prince’s death on April 21, when searchers were also looking up “surreal.”
Bigly - Looked up mostly during the U.S. presidential election after then Republican candidate Donald Trump, using “big league” as an adverb, made it sound like the word “bigly.”
Deplorable - Democratic president candidate Hillary Clinton, during the election, famously called Trump supporters a “basket full of deplorables.”
Merriam-Webster’s complete list of notable 2016 words can be found at bit.ly/2gTOClO.
Source: Renita D. Young/Reuters
Photo: Bebeto Matthews/AP
John 1:1 (HCSB)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
What does today’s God’s Story scripture teach us about the Word?
Today’s news story articulates the power of words - in particular the word surreal. I love how the Bible verse John 1:1 expresses the ultimate power of the Word - Jesus...and the Word is God. The Word speaks to us through Scripture, through His Spirit, through other Christians and through circumstances. Are we listening?
How can I connect today’s God’s Story scripture to my life?
I’ve decided to declare a word for 2017 - it’s hope. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 5:13) Some of my hopes for 2017: I hope that our house will sell since we want to downsize; I hope that estranged family members will be restored; and most of all, I hope that loved ones will say yes to a relationship with Jesus.
What word from Scripture would you like to claim for 2017?
How can I connect Today’s Story, God’s Story, and My Story to others?
What is one word that you and your friends would use to sum up the year 2016?
Think of a word to describe your picture for 2017.
Share with a friend your story about your relationship with the Word of God.