‘Pandemic’ chosen as word of the year

NEW YORK (AP) — In the land of lexicography, out of the whole of the English language, 2020’s word of the year is a vocabulary of one.

For the first time, two dictionary companies on Monday — Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com — declared the same word as their tops: pandemic.

John Kelly, senior research editor at Dictionary.com, told the AP before breaking the news that searches on the site for pandemic spiked more than 13,500% on March 11, the day the World Health Organization declared an outbreak of the novel coronavirus a global health emergency.

Month over month, lookups for pandemic were more than 1,000% higher than usual.


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