[lg policy] The Web of Language Word of the Year is "volatility"

Dennis Baron debaron at ILLINOIS.EDU
Thu Dec 1 23:59:04 UTC 2011

The Web of Language Word of the Year for 2011 is "volatility." Volatility may not be trendy like "occupy" or "Arab Spring," but it's the one word that characterizes the bipolar mood of 2011 in everything from politics to economics. 

Volatility describes the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street; the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; scandals in college sports and investment banking; the Republican presidential scramble and the Greek debt crisis; regime change in Libya and in Italy; the Iranian nuclear build-up and the Fukushima nuclear melt-down.

Throughout the year, the Dow Jones Index has been the poster-child for volatility, jumping up and down by hundreds of points like a high-stakes game of Chutes and Ladders. Indeed, given the daily shake ups not just of the year that was, but of the ten years since 9/11, volatility could well be the word of the decade, and with no end to volatility in sight, it could be the word for the entire twenty-first century.

Read the full report on the Web of Language:  http://j.mp/vkbu3N

Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English                    
University of Illinois 
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801                                               

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321


read the Web of Language:

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