For approximately the trillionth year in a row, "dadgummit" has failed to be dubbed the Word of the Year by the deciders of such things at Merriam-Webster.
However, the 2018 selection is admittedly spot-on. Per a news release that dropped early Monday, "justice" has taken this year's top word honors with a 74 percent increase in lookups compared to 2017 stats. "Justice has varied meanings that do a lot of work in the language—meanings that range from the technical and legal to the lofty and philosophical," a Merriam-Webster rep said. "For many reasons and for many meanings, one thing’s for sure: justice has been on the minds of many people in 2018." Previous Words of the Year include feminism (2017), surreal (2016), and -ism (2015).
"We see spikes in our data that correspond to certain news events and stories reported in media that help us to understand what drove many people to look up justice more frequently this year," lexicographer Peter Sokolowski said in a detailed breakdown of Merriam-Webster's ranking process. Sokolowski also pointed to the Department of Justice and changing marijuana laws as crucial in the ubiquity of this year's pick.
As is tradition, Merriam-Webster also gave us the 10 top lookups of the year. Pansexual, epiphany, feckless, and (thankfully) pissant were among the words fortunate enough to bag a spot in the ranking. See the full 10 below.
Anyway, I apologize profusely for the use of an extremely tepid and laughably generic photo at the top of this page.