Inside these posts: Merriam-Webster

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‘Austerity’ is top-searched word in a rocky year

It provoked protests in European capitals from Athens to Brussels, hurt sales of Heineken beer and stole the spotlight at a June G20 summit in Canada. “Austerity” is now Merriam-Webster’s top word of 2010.

“Austerity,” which the Springfield, Massachusetts-based publisher defines as “enforced or extreme economy,” spiked to the top of the company’s top ten list based on the number of searches at its website,

Coupled with No. 2 “pragmatic,” the list reflects a year when searchers were still worried about a rocky world economy, said Peter Sokolowski, the dictionary’s editor at large. Get the full story »