The frontrunner for word of the year is ‘occupy’

With ‘downgrade’ and ‘winning’ trailing in the final stretch, according to the American Dialect Society’s Ben Zimmer.

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“Remember when Charlie Sheen was a big deal and everyone was talking about ‘winning’?” Zimmer asked “On The Media” host Brooke Gladstone when he stopped by the radio show last Friday to talk dialect. “Back in that brief moment … we might have thought that ‘winning’ would be a winning word.”

Each year, the American Dialect Society’s selects a word of the year. In 2010, for instance, the word was “app”; in 2009, it was “tweet.”

Some bad news for Sheen, however—an upstart word has passed “winning.”

“I think that ‘occupy’ is coming on strong as a definite frontrunner,” Zimmer said. “We’ll see by the end of the year if it really shows that staying power as I think it will.”

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