What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 21, 2004

BLOG: Word of the Year
(Based on online lookups)

Publisher: 'Blog' No. 1 word of the year
Tuesday, November 30, 2004 Posted: 4:39 PM EST (2139 GMT)

BOSTON, Massachusetts (Reuters) -- A four-letter term that came to symbolize the difference between old and new media during this year's presidential campaign tops U.S. dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster's list of the 10 words of the year.

According to the article:

"Americans called up blogs in droves for information and laughs ahead of the November 2 presidential election.

Freed from the constraints that govern traditional print and broadcast news organizations, blogs spread gossip while also serving as an outlet for people increasingly disenchanted with mainstream media.

Blog clout
It was mainly on blogs that readers first encountered speculation that U.S. President George W. Bush wore a listening device during his first debate against Democrat John Kerry. The White House, forced to respond, called it a laughable, left-wing conspiracy theory.

Bloggers also were among the first to cast doubt on a CBS television news report that challenged Bush's military service.

CBS later admitted it had been duped into using questionable documents for the report. Last week CBS anchor Dan Rather said he would step down in March, although the network said the move was unconnected to the scandal.

A Merriam-Webster spokesman said it was not possible to say how many times blog had been looked up on its Web sites but that from July onward, the word received tens of thousands of hits per month.

Blog will be a new entry in the 2005 version of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition." (more here)

And, what were the other words in this year's top ten? Check them all out:

1. Blog noun [short for Weblog] (1999) : a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer

2. incumbent
3. electoral
4. insurgent
5. hurricane (who had to look this one up?!)
6. cicada
7. peloton ("the main body of riders in a bicycle race," and no, I had no idea what this was)
8. partisan
9. sovereignty
10. defenestration

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