Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

2014 in words: 'Culture' joins 'vape' and 'exposure' as words of the year

Author:

"Culture" is Merriam-Webster's word of the year for 2014.

The dictionary landed on culture by figuring out which of their most popular words experienced the biggest spike in lookups this year compared to last year.

"Culture is a word that we seem to be relying on more and more. It allows us to identify and isolate an idea, issue, or group with seriousness," Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for Merriam-Webster, said in a statement. "And it's efficient: we talk about the 'culture' of a group rather than saying 'the typical habits, attitudes, and behaviors' of that group."

Other publications have already named their word of the year. Oxford Dictionary picked "vape" for its connection to the e-cigarette movement, while Dictionary.com chose "exposure" for its tie to big news stories of the year, including the Ebola outbreak.

Merriam-Webster says culture is typically a big word around back-to-school time, but they think people looked it up beyond the school year because phrases such as "celebrity culture," "rape culture" and "company culture" graced headlines nationwide.

Culture was looked up 15 percent more this year than it was last year, according to The Associated Press.

Last year's Merriam-Webster word of the year was science.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

Wild win battle of NHL's hottest teams, extend winning streak to six

Kirill Kaprizov delivered a shootout winner to take down the Maple Leafs.

Eric Kendricks

Vikings downgrade Eric Kendricks to out against Lions

The Vikings have also activated Michael Pierce from injured reserve.

u.s. attorney

Minnesotan sentenced after assaulting man with baseball bat

Marshall Wayne Boshey was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Target store

Target's gift card discount is back, but for this weekend only

The fine print: for Target Circle members only (but membership is free).

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Minneapolis teen arrested in St. Cloud after fleeing police in stolen vehicle

The vehicle was stolen in a car-jacking in Minneapolis Thursday.

snow, blowing snow

Winter storm warnings issued with heavy snow set to slam MN

Parts of northern Minnesota could see more than a foot of snow, but there won't be much in the Twin Cities.

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

Related

Dictionary.com's word of the year is 'xenophobia'

Global events and the fear of the "other" led to the online dictionary picking this year's word.