Merriam-Webster Pragmatic About 2011 Word

If nothing else, Merriam-Webster was practical and logical when it chose its top word of 2011. The editors named “pragmatic” as the top word.

The word was looked up frequently on Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary.

A new feature on Merriam-Webster’s site allows users to tell the dictionary publisher why they sought that specific word, and the feedback from those who looked up “pragmatic” was that they wanted to reaffirm that the connotation was positive.

“People have a general sense of what the word meant and in fact had even been using it, but then they had a moment when they thought to themselves, `Perhaps I ought to look up that word and make sure it means what I think it means,'” said John Morse, president and publisher of Springfield, Mass.-based Merriam-Webster Morse.

Merriam-Webster has been picking its annual top choice since 2003. Previous winners include: austerity (2010), admonish (2009) and bailout (2008).

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