“Justice” is Merriam-Webster's 2018 word of the year, according to the number of searches made on its website.
The number of lookups for justice surged 74 percent from 2017, driven by special counsel’s Robert Mueller’s probe of election meddling (an investigation which comes out of the Dept. of Justice) and the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings. Justice also got a lift from searches by people concerned about social justice, economic justice and racial justice during Donald Trump era.
“Nationalism,” a word tied more directly to Trump, made Merriam-Webster’s Top 10 list. The company reports that searches for nationalism spiked more than 8,000 percent on Oct. 22 and Oct. 23 after a Trump pep rally in Texas.
He told his enthusiastic reporters:
“You know, they have a word—it’s sort of become old-fashioned—it’s called nationalist. And I say, really, we’re not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I’m a nationalist, okay? I’m a nationalist. Nationalist. Nothing wrong. Use that word. Use that word.”
Merriam-Webster defines nationalism as “loyalty and devotion to a nation,” and especially "exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups.”
it distiguishes nationalism from patriotism, which is "love or devotion to one's own country" without the smugness of an attitude of superiority.
And speaking of patriots, Trump's nemesis, the late John McCain, was one. The former Arizona Senator made a mark on the Merriam-Webster list as the word "maverick" cracked the Top 10 category following his death in August.
The selection of Justice follows Dictionary.com’s announcement last month that “disinformation” topped its word of the year list.
It rocketed to the top, obviously helped by Trump’s penchant for dishing out lies and false information.
The Washington Post reported today that more than seven out of ten Americans believe that Trump’s statements are ”usually flat out false” or “usually just exaggerations.”
One can only wonder what Merriam-Webster’s and Dictionary.com’s word of the year will be for 2019.
My bet is “impeachment.”