Dictionary.com announced yesterday (December 18th) that it had chosen "privacy" as the word of the year for 2013, which beat out other finalists including "cronut," "sequester," "shutdown," "Obamacare" and "3D printing." Dictionary.com, which defines "privacy" as "the state of being free from intrusion or disturbance in one's private life and affairs," says it chose the word in part because of the debate over government surveillance programs in the wake of the Edward Snowden leaks. Other privacy-related events this year cited by Dictionary.com were complaints over TSA security procedures and the arrival of Google Glass.
"Whatever" has been rated as the most annoying word by Americans in a poll by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion for the fifth year in a row. Of those surveyed, 38 percent chose "whatever," up from 32 percent a year earlier. Marist media director Mary Griffith said, "The word can be very dismissive and rude. It's a put-down to some extent and it can signal to the other person that what they are saying is not important." Coming in second was "like," at 22 percent, "you know" had 18 percent, "just sayin'" had 14 percent, and "obviously" got six percent.