The Suitcase Lady

Word

December 27, 2011, 9:20 pm

“Stay tuned, “the announcer said, “for the Word of the Year.”

Loving linguistics, I immediately found my brain speculating on what 2011’s hot word would be. Computer jargon and names of techie gadgets flooded my thoughts along with the sinking feeling that I might not even have heard the word. I do tend to be about a century behind in some areas.

I was wrong on all counts. The most important word of 2011, according to commentator and linguist Geoff Nunberg, turned out to be “occupy”.

Since I like the word occupy, I cheered that selection. Occupy dates back to the 14th century and means “take possession of” and “to take up space and time”. During the 16th and 17th centuries it was a euphemism for “to have sexual intercourse” which caused the word to fall out of favor from polite usage.

To be clear, I do not intend to sleep in a tent near Wall Street or anywhere else for that matter. I do not even sleep in a tent when on vacation.

But since our country has turned as surreal as Oz, I do intend to fully occupy my own life and protest injustice wherever it occurs. I’m looking forward to a busy 2012.

Happy New Year!

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